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SSNIT pensioners angry

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Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) pensioners in the Koforidua Zone of the National Pensioners Association have threatened to demonstrate against new pension indexation.

The pensioners expressed discontent about the indexation, which has given them a GH¢10.3 increment across board and said they would go on demonstration if matters were not ameliorated.

The group said “Do they want to hasten us into our graves? Some of us are hypertensive. Authorities are to know that some of us still look after our families. We have humbly served the country and we deserve better treatment”.

The pensioners argued that the GH¢10.3 was nothing to write home about adding that the amount could not enable them to meet the “high cost of living in recent times.”

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in respective interviews, some of the pensioners said they felt they were being discriminated against as compared to their colleagues in the government sector.

“All that we are saying is that the government must treat us fairly as is being done to the government pensioners, especially when there is increase and new salary structure, because we too have worked hard and in honesty for our motherland Ghana” one of them said.

They said the Director-General of SSNIT had earlier told them that there had been a reduction of resources available for the SSNIT from 17.5 per cent to 11 per cent.

According to them, they were told that, with the seven-and-half per cent deducted, five per cent was being used to boost the New Pension Scheme whiles two-and-half per cent was being lodged into the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

They indicated that dust was being thrown into their eyes, saying “it is like robbing Peter to pay Paul”, since it was that little money which was still being deducted to build the new scheme.

“We oppose the five per cent that goes into the New Pension Scheme which we Pensioners are not even enjoying”, they said.

Most of the pensioners interviewed expressed disgust with the Director-Generals explanation that if the scheme increased the GH¢10.3, there would be no funds in the next four years to pay them.

They suggested a probe into the activities of SSNIT, saying they expected their monies to yield returns since it was being used for investments.

“SSNIT must explain fully why our monies are being used to invest in other organizations without getting any income to support pensioners.”

When GNA contacted Mr Eric Gyimah Twum-Danso, the Eastern Regional Chairman of the NPA, he explained that his people might be worried about the fact that their allowances had been increased by just GH¢ 10.3 across board when previously, it was “a graduated percentage increase.”

He said the pensioners were sad because anytime there were general increases in salaries, government pensioners enjoyed whiles the SSNIT pensioners endured the opposite.

“It is as if there is a discriminatory attitude towards SSNIT pensioners”, he noted.

Mr Twum-Danso called on authorities to listen to the cry of the SSNIT pensioners by making money available anytime there was general increase in salaries.

He lamented that their union’s representation at the SSNIT board at the national level was inadequate adding that authorities should expand the union’s representation on the board.

He called on all pensioners to exercise patience with their executive members since they were working hard to correct all the anomalies.

Mr Twum-Danso advised the pensioners to register with the NHIS since their monies would still be deducted even if they did not register adding they should acknowledge the fact that they were old and their health was vital.

He entreated them to check their eating habits, abide by their doctors’ prescriptions so that they could live stronger and longer.

Source: GNA

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