FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the Teachers Fund?

The Teachers Fund was set up in 1998 as a Solidarity and Retirement Supplement Scheme for members of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT). With a current total membership of about two hundred thousand (200,000), the Fund was valued at approximately GHC 745,194,043.08 as at December 2016 represented by investments in Treasury bills, listed equities, private placements, loans and facilities to members, real estate projects and other assets.

What are the objectives of the FUND?

The objectives of the Fund are

  1. To provide retirement supplement to members
  2. To provide lifestyle enhancing facilities to members in the form of loans
  3. To facilitate access to credit purchases.
  4. To engage in property development and real estate activities by way of investment.
Who qualifies to join the Fund?

Membership is open exclusively to Teachers who are members of GNAT. Interested teachers are, however, expected to sign up as registered members by completing membership registration forms. These forms are available at all district GNAT Secretariats.

How is the Fund managed?

The Fund is managed by a fifteen-member Board of Trustees who report to the GNAT National Council. The Board has set up the Fund Secretariat, headed by the Fund Administrator/General Manager, to implement its policies and decisions. The Fund Secretariat works through District GNAT Secretariats to serve members in the districts.

What are contributions used for?

The total amount realized as contributions from members are invested in the following:

  • Listed equities
  • Treasury bills
  • Loans and facilities
  • Private equity placements
  • Subsidiaries(Credit Mall, TF Financial Services , TF Properties)
What benefits are members of the Fund entitled to?

Members of the Fund are entitled to

  • Retirement benefit (exit package)
  • Death/Permanent disability benefit under the Group Solidarity Scheme
  • Loan facilities (Personal Loan, Investment Capital Loan, Habitat Loan and Vehicle Loan)
  • Credit purchases of household consumer items from Credit Mall Limited on credit basis

 

What is the Teachers Fund Retirement Benefit/Exit Package?

The retirement benefit/exit package of a member is an amount made up of his/her total contributions and returns on same. A member may apply for this package when he/she retires from the GES after attaining the retirement age or leaves GNAT for any other teacher association or retires voluntarily.

What is the Teachers Fund Death/Permanent disability benefit? (Group Solidarity Scheme)

The Group Solidarity Scheme is an insurance package for all members which covers death and permanent disability. In the event of the death of a member, his next – of – kin is eligible for a specified sum under the scheme. Similarly, any member who is rendered permanently disabled is entitled to a package under the same scheme.

What is Teachers Fund Personal Loan?

The Personal Loan is a facility available to registered members to enable them resolve their short-term financial obligations. The facility currently has a ceiling of GHC 15,000.

What is Teachers Fund Investment Capital Loan?

The Investment Capital Loan is a facility intended to support members to purposely undertake income generating or investment activities. The facility currently has a ceiling of GHC 25,000.

What is Habitat Loan?

With a current ceiling of GHC 30,000, The Habitat Loan is designed to support members undertake housing projects.

What is Teachers Fund Vehicle Loan?

The Vehicle Loan is a lifeline to members for the acquisition of non-commercial vehicles. As part of the application process, a loan applicant is expected to submit an invoice from a vehicle vendor to whom the approved loan amount is disbursed. The facility currently has a ceiling of GHC 40,000.

For how long should one contribute to qualify for a loan from the Fund?

Any member who has contributed for a minimum of six months is eligible for a loan from the Fund.

Are the requirements for the various loan facilities the same?

No. There are variations in the application requirements for the four loan facilities the Fund gives to its members.

For Personal Loan, the following are the requirements:

  • Completed Personal Loan application form
  • Two (2) passport pictures
  • Two (2) signed mandate forms with different serial numbers.
  • Loan Advance forms
  • Authority Note
  • Copy of a Valid National ID
  • Most recent pay slip.

 

 

Habitat loan

  • Completed Habitat Loan application form
  • Two (2) passport forms
  • Two (2)signed mandate forms with different serial numbers
  • Loan Advance form
  • Authority Note
  • Copy of Valid National ID
  • Most recent pay slip
  • Evidence of land ownership in the form of
  1. Indenture b) Yellow Card, c) Land Title d) Building permit

 

Investment Capital Loan

  • Completed Investment Capital Loan application forms
  • Two (2) passport pictures
  • Two (2) signed Mandate forms with different serial numbers
  • Loan Advance form
  • Authority note
  • Copy of Valid National ID
  • Most recent pays lip
  • Evidence of Business ownership in the form of
  1. Business Registration forms
  2. Business Documents e.g. Local permits.

Vehicle Finance Loan

  • Completed Vehicle Loan application forms
  • Two (2) passport pictures
  • Two (2) signed Mandate Form with different serial numbers
  • Loan Advance form
  • Authority Note
  • Copy of Valid National ID
  • Most recent pays lip
  • Valuation report on Vehicle to be purchased.

 

How can a member know the value of his/her contributions in the Fund?

The Fund sends an Annual Statement of Accounts to each registered member. A member’s Statement of Accounts captures details of his/her yearly contributions, the Fund’s investment portfolio and the current value of the Fund’s investments. The statement also shows the current value of the investment of the members.

How are decisions on increments in basic contributions taken?

As a result of the large size of GNAT, decisions are usually made by representation. With regard to increments in Teachers Fund basic contributions, the Board of Trustees of the Fund presents the proposed increment to the GNAT National Council for consideration. The Council subsequently informs the regional and district secretaries to sensitize contributors about the proposal. The Fund also conducts a nationwide survey to ascertain the opinion of contributors about the proposal. The responses from contributors in each region are compiled and presented to GNAT National Council for consideration.

Why does the Fund charge Interest on loans?

The principal objective of the Fund is to provide a meaningful retirement supplement to members. In order to achieve this, there is the need to ensure that contributions to the Fund are properly invested for meaningful returns.

The loans constitute a key investment of the Fund. Therefore, there is the need to ensure that this investment yields significant and impressive returns. The interest realized on loans are distributed to members (including loan beneficiaries) as returns on their investments. Less than fifty percent of members access loans from the Fund. This implies that majority of members contribute purposely towards retirement. Therefore if the Fund earns nothing or insignificant returns on the loans, exit packages for members will be negatively affected.

What is the interest rate charged on loans disbursed by the Fund?

Currently, the Fund charges an interest rate of 2% monthly or 24% per annum on loans using the reducing balance method. This implies that interest is charged on the remaining principal.

What steps should a member take if he does not receive his annual statement of accounts?

A member who does not receive his statement of accounts may complete the non-receipt of statement form, obtained from a District GNAT Secretariat and forward same to the Fund Secretariat through the District Secretary for processing. Alternatively, the member may write to the Fund Secretariat describing his situation, stating his/her Fund ID and providing other relevant information.

Beside the Annual Statement, can a member use any other means to obtain some basic information on his membership or contributions?

Yes. The Fund has introduced a USSD platform which allows members to access the following:

  1. Fund ID
  2. Current Contribution
  3. Total Contribution (total contribution excluding returns)

However members are required to register for access unto the USSD platform.

What is the Code for the USSD and how does it work?

The code is *718*60# on all networks. After dialling the code, one has to Press 1 to register for the service. He/she will then need to enter his/her staff ID and a six-digit Unique Passcode (which can be obtained from the District GNAT Secretariat).  Upon successful registration, the member’s Fund ID will be displayed on his/her phone’s screen. The Fund ID can then be used to check Current Contribution and Total Contribution.

Members are to note that they should avoid accessing the platform with any other phone line besides the one they used for registration.

Can a member opt out of the Fund and retrieve his contributions to the Fund upon exit?

Yes. This is termed voluntary exit. He will be required to fill the exit application form, attach the required documents and submit them to the Fund Secretariat through his/her District GNAT Secretariat.

Can a member change his or her next of kin?

Yes. The member has to write to the Fund and provide details of the new next kin.  Alternatively, a member may provide details of the new next of kin on the detachable counterfoil on his/her statement of accounts and forward same to the Fund Secretariat.

How many members constitute the Board of the Teachers Fund?

The Fund has a fifteen member Board comprising ten regional representatives of GNAT, three (3) External Trustees nominated and appointed by GNAT, the General Secretary of GNAT or his representative and a Chairman appointed by the GNAT National Council.

What is the function of the Teachers Fund Board?

The Board is primarily responsible for setting the Fund’s strategic direction. It is also responsible for leading, controlling and monitoring the activities of Management. The Board meets three (3) times in a year unless there is the need for any emergency decisions which will necessitate sitting more than three times in a year.

How does the Board function?

The Board has set up four (4) sub-committees, mandated them to deliberate on issues within their scope and report to the Board. These are the Executive Committee, Investment Committee, Audit Committee and Nominating Committee. These committees report to the Board.

What is TPRS?

TPRS stands for Third Party Referencing System. It is an automated system introduced by the Controller and Accountant Generals Department for the deduction of loans and other financial commitments for financial institutions.

What is Loan Refinancing?

Refinancing refers to paying off an existing loan using part of the proceeds of a newly approved loan. In other words it is a loan ‘top up’.

What is affordability?

Affordability is an assessment of the ability of a member to service the repayment amount expected for a required loan amount. It is essentially 50% of a member’s disposable income minus any existing financial commitment.

What is Credit Mall Limited (CML)?

Credit Mall Limited was set up by Teachers Fund to address the consumer credit needs of teachers. Its marketing strategy involves selling a wide range of household items and appliances to teachers through direct sales. These sales are planned in conjunction with Regional and District GNAT Secretariats. Over the past few years, the company has paid more attention to the sale of building materials to teachers with the view to helping them address their housing needs.

TF Financial Services?

TF Financial Services Limited (TFFS) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Teachers Fund and was incorporated in Ghana in the year 2006. The decision to set up TF Financial Services was borne out of the Fund’s objective of diversifying some of its investments into long-term holdings. The Company operates as a financial services firm licensed by Bank of Ghana (BOG) to provide loans to the general public. Over the years the company has concentrated its core activities on the provision of loans to various market segments. Currently, the company has two loan products namely Employee Salary Loans and Controller Salary Loans.

What is TF Properties?

TF Properties Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Teachers Fund. The authorized business of the organization is to engage in real estate development and management services. Prior its establishment, the Fund’s real estate investments were held as a unique asset class in its portfolio. For strategic reasons, the Board of Trustees approved the establishment of an entity to hold and manage its real estate investments more efficiently. Since its establishment, TF Properties has supervised the construction and completion of three major commercial properties namely GNAT Heights, TF Hostel and the North Ridge Office.