Employers in the Kumasi metropolis have called for public education on the new pension scheme to promote peace and harmony on the labour front, especially at the initial stages of the scheme’s implementation.
Sharing their views at a day’s seminar organized by SSNIT for employers and SSNIT schedule officers of organizations, the employers said most workers were not even aware that their basic salary would go down with the increase in their contribution payment.
There is therefore the need for the government to carry out public education to help workers to sufficiently understand and appreciate the challenges to maintain industrial peace.
Under the new pension Act 2008, Act 766, workers would contribute 5.5 per cent of their basic salary and employers would add 13 per cent of workers’ basic salary to make a total of 18.5 per cent.
Workers contributed five per cent and employers added 12.5 per cent bringing the total to 17.5 per cent under the old scheme.
The implementation of the new pension scheme took effect from January 1, 2010.
Mr Enoch Acheampong, Ashanti and Brong Ahafo Regional Area Manager of SSNIT, said under the new three-tier pension scheme, subscribers would make two mandatory contributions.
They would pay 13.5 per cent of their basic salary to SSNIT, for the first tier, and five per cent paid to a private scheme manager to manage on behalf of the contributors, under the second tier. The third is voluntary.
SSNIT would make residual (monthly) payment to contributors on retirement while the private scheme managers would pay the lump sum to them.
Mr Acheampong said the scheme was for the good of workers and appealed to employers to be mindful of the welfare of their workers and pay their contributions promptly to enable them to enjoy meaningful retirement.
Mr Daniel Kinig, SSNIT Area Accountant, said under the new Act, employees’ contributions would be calculated based on the minimum daily wage and that no employer could pay workers’ contribution below that amount.
Monthly data submission before payment of employees’ contributions to SSNIT is also a requirement under the Act.
This according to Mr Kinig is to help facilitate early detection and correction of all anomalies in employees’ data, especially in accounts numbers, before actual payments are made to SSNIT.
He said payments unaccompanied by the contribution report would not be accepted and urged all schedule officers to submit their reports on or before the last day of each month.
The new requirement under section 63 that requires employers to present accounts for the 13.5% first tier and the 5% second tier is good news. However the problem is the time it takes to validate this accounts. Imagine establishments with hundreds of employees which provide for these employees in the account for validation. As a matter of fact it take days for which employers are required to pay after validation. Sometimes the whole days work is sacrified just trying to pay in a day. I therefore suggest an improvement in the computer system to meet these challenges.