THE GHANA Cocoa Board has begun the registration of all cocoa farmers on its newest pension scheme which is christened Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme (CFPS).
Addressing the media in Kumasi, Mr Daniel Aidoo Mensah, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme said the registration process was commenced in the Ashanti Region last week.
He noted that the scheme seeks to provide a decent pension for all cocoa farmers in the over 70 cocoa districts of the country.
“The cocoa farmers pension scheme is a regulated scheme sponsored by the Ghana Cocoa Board and the Government of Ghana for the sole benefit of registered cocoa farmers and their beneficiaries”, the Chairman stated.
The Chairman noted that only registered farmers of good standing could be enrolled onto the scheme.
He intimated that the scheme aims at ensuring a decent pension for cocoa farmers by improving their welfare and making cocoa farming attractive to the younger generation for the sustainability of the cocoa sector.
Mr Mensah stated that there was no specific entry age to sign on to the scheme but the noted that the only requirement was to be registered as a cocoa farmer by Cocobod through the Cocoa Management Systems (CMS) Team, compilers of data of cocoa farmers across Ghana.
“A registered cocoa farmer must complete an enrollment form to indicate his or her nominated beneficiaries and elect additional voluntary contribution prior to the sale of his or her cocoa produce”, the Chairman stressed.
Chairman of CFPS Task Force:
Mr Fiifi Boafo, Chairman of the Task Force for the Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme and a Deputy Director at Cocobod said a registered farmer is required to make a mandatory contribution of 5% of his or her produce.
He however revealed that Cocobod would pay a minimum top up contribution of 1% of the farmers’ produce on behalf of the farmer.
Mr Boafo said the farmer at his or her option, may elect to make an additional voluntary contribution ranging from 2.5% to 10% of his or her produce.
The Task Force Chairman revealed that 25% of the Farmer’s total contribution would be credited to the personal savings account and the remaining 75% would be credited to the retirement account established for each individual farmer.
“Eligibility for pension, for purposes the scheme, is based on attained age of the farmer and or years of contribution into the scheme. A farmer qualifies for retirement after having contributed for 5 years provided the farmer has attained the age of 55”, Mr Boafo disclosed.
Story By Michael Ofosu-Afriyie,