Converting ‘Investment Fund’ into ‘Disaster Relief Fund’ bad decision – GNAT cautioned

Some members of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) have admonished the call for the use of their Investment Fund (Teachers’ Fund) to support other members who lived at lockdown communities amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Speaking to EducationGhana‘s Ellis Ferdinand, some members of the fund argued that the Teachers Fund is the investment of individual Teachers of which has been christened individual pension supplement.

”It must also be stated that GNAT is the promoter of the Fund and holds the investment in trust for the members by the Election of Regional Trustees and governed by the National Council which has metamorphosized into Annual General Meeting (AGM).” They argued.

The members said that the investment belongs to individual GNAT members who are shareholders of the Fund and not GNAT as a Corporate body.

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They further argued that the fund is an Investment fund for members’ retirement and must not be treated as a Disaster Relief Fund.

”It is important to note that, over 60% of the contributors to the Fund stand loose massively when such demands are implemented.” They added.

Dangers

A statement from another concerned member of the fund outlined some disadvantages of converting the fund into a supposed Disaster.

  1. People with outstanding loans to pay are retiring on a daily basis. This could pose a great challenge to the Fund.
    This means that the tendency of not being able to recover the loans from individual members after the said three months before they retire could pose a serious threat to the Fund.

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  1. Some people have only two or three months to finish paying their loans and have served notice of contracting new loans. Therefore, they are also insisting that their loans should be allowed to run its full term without any interruption. Accordingly, they have programmed their activities to enable achieve their objective.
  2. Interim analysis and further research indicates that this may create future challenges such as double deductions, over deductions among others upon resumption of the loan deductions in four months time

  3. Another challenge could be that the Fund will not be able to declare any dividend for that 3 months period when there are no deductions.

  4. This means that over 60% of the contributors to the Fund who do not contract loans but rather expect their investment to grow will loose.

  5. This defeats the principle of WIN-WIN. Since some will win but over 60% stand to lose not only the time value of their money but also non-recovery of loans

  6. Investigations showed that the Ministry of Finance through CAGD owes February and March deductions of subscriptions and loan deductions to the Fund. This l was told the posed a challenge to the Fund.

  7. Plans with companies and other institutions that work with the Fund at the money market will be disrupted when this is implemented.

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  1. It will be difficult to honour Loan demands from members to full capacity after the three(3) months relief. Indeed, Loan deductions are one source of funding for Loans granted the Fund members. The implication is that some investments will have to be withdrawn to honour the loans.

Legal Action

The members of the fund indicated they are serving notice to the rank and file of the Union that any attempt by the Board of Trustee’s and or Managers to convert their retirement investment into a Disaster Relief Fund will be Fiercely Resisted using all legal options available.

”There are regulations that established the fund with its aims/objectives. We must, therefore, remain focus.” They said.

Source: EducationGhana.net


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