SSNIT Informal Sector mobilises more than 91,000 members

The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) Informal Sector Fund (SISF),  has more than 91,000 members and a fund size in excess of GH¢23, 000,000 as at December 2011.

SISF is a voluntary contributory pension scheme that provides members with benefits, which are based exclusively on their accumulated savings.

The Fund therefore stands to become one of the most important national interventions to reach out to the informal sector of Ghana.

This was contained in a document made available to SISF Local Union and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra.

SISF was established in February 2008 as part of the National Pension Act, 2008 (Act 766) to take over the administration of the Informal Sector Scheme and started on pilot basis in 2005.

It is expected to operate within the third tier of the Pension Act, and began full implementation in November 2008 when it was incorporated as a company limited by Guarantee with SSNIT as the sole sponsor.

Though majority of the economically active working population are more than 85 per cent they are not covered by the SSNIT Pension Scheme, although their contributions remains untapped, while their activities remain uncoordinated and unquantified.

Through SISF, government is mobilising funds from this group for development and serving as a huge source of funding for developmental projects.

As a social intervention programme the SISF represents short term and long term benefits.

In the short term members contributions can be used as a leverage to obtain loans. This provides them with capital to boost their incomes from their businesses.

The improvement in family income will lead to increase in school enrollment, reduction in child trafficking, better food and nutrition, thus reducing the government health bill drastically.

In the long term, informal sector workers can look forward to the future with dignity. This is because at least they can be assured of some monthly income no matter how small.

SISF is mainly concerned with the mobilisation of contributions and expects government to take up the administrative costs of the Fund and in turn set contribution target for the company, just as it does for the revenue mobilisation companies.

The fund will therefore become one of the key revenue mobilisation institutions for government whilst providing a major social service for the informal sector, which hitherto was non- existent – pension.

If given recognition and support, SISF has the potential of playing a key role in the socio-economic life of workers in the informal sector economy of Ghana.

Source: GNA

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