Rene Geoffery Renner, the first managing director of the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC) in the First Republic who was forced on retirement at 45, has been elected to represent pensioners in the Board of Directors of SSHFC.
Geoffery Renner has vowed to resign if pensioners funds are misused, saying that when he was a managing director of SSFHC during the Jawara’s administration, there were “so many request for us to give monies like that but I refused because I knew that it was pensioners’ money.”
“I will leave if the current management wants to do that. I will manage the fund prudently because pension funds, like any other institution’s fund depends on investment return. So you invest it wisely in a profitable manner. It will yield dividend so that you can paid in the future what is due for the pensioners.”
He made these remarks while responding to questions posed to him by journalists at the conference hall of the Friendship Hotel in Bakau when he was declared the winner in a well contested election with regard to how pensioners’ funds were used during the former government as evidence in the ongoing Janneh Commission.
The election was conducted by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and supervises by Abdoulie K. Jeng of the IEC.
“Social security is not new to me. I will ensure that I have a committee that will be working with me and find out what is the problem of the pensioners and how we can be able to address them,” Mr. Renner said. “We will tackle the area of pensioner’s increment which has not been made for six years which is not normal. In my time as the MD of SSHFC, we do increase every three years.”
Mr, Renner, an accountant by profession, added that before you increase pensioners’ salaries, you need to consult the actualities that are like auditors for a pension scheme. “They look at the scheme and tell you whether it is feasible financially to pay and increase and how much. So we have to consult the actualities first but they cannot just get up and say we have increased it.”
I started SSHFC and worked there for ten years before I was asked to retire when I was almost 45 years of age in 1990. “When I was removed, it was a big embarrassment because some people thought that I stole their money. However, when everyone know the circumstances of my removal, I was quite happy about it and I decided to move somewhere else,” he told journalists in an interview.
According to him, he will do his best in ensuring that some of the difficulties pensioners are encountering are being addressed. “I know SSHFC sufficiently because I was involved in the starting of the operation and I know how it works.