Replace ex gratia with pension scheme – former MP

Former Member of Parliament for Hohoe South, Kosi Kedem has advised that a pension scheme be instituted to cater for parliamentarians after their tenure in office.

Mr. Kedem was elected into the first Parliament of the fourth republic of Ghana on 7 January 1993. 

According to him, the payment of ex gratia is not enough to sustain legislators for a lifetime.

Speaking to Raymond Acquah on Upfront on JoyNews, Mr Kedem said that “it will be a good idea because, in parliaments where pension scheme exists, they don’t pay them ex gratia. You cannot have ex gratia and pensions at the same time.”

He noted on Thursday that a pension scheme will save MPs from all the troubles that come with managing huge sums of money, a challenge some MPs are faced with when the ex gratia is paid.

“The way they pay the money to us is a very dangerous and unsafe mechanism. When you are given that bulk money you can misuse it, and you can invest it wrongly. What happens if the investment goes wrong?” He quizzed.

Mr Kedem said, “but with pension, you can be given some money in bulk then they spread the rest over your lifetime.”

Juxtaposing the unstructured nature of Ghana’s second parliament during his tenure, he said “during our time as I have told you, we were guinea pigs. They were experimenting with us. We did not even have condition of service; we were paid on account.”

“It means you cannot even make a budget for yourself. It is that they pay you as and when they decide. We were being paid on account, so our life was quite miserable,” he recalled.

However, he insisted that a similar plight could be avoided if a pension scheme is established.

“In other Parliaments, they have pension schemes but in the parliament of Ghana, they don’t have a pension scheme. So, whatever you are paid you have to depend on it for life. We are fighting for this pension scheme to be introduced if not for us but for the sitting MPs,” he added.

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