SSNIT pays GH¢279m to 230,065 pensioners in July 2022 – Director-General

The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) paid a total amount of GH¢279.24 million to 230,065 pensioners in July 2022, Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang, the Director-General of the Trust has said.

He explained the pension scheme has more than 1.7 million active members with the highest pension earner receiving GH¢142,564.97 per month, while the lowest-earning pensioner gets GH¢300.00.

Dr Ofori-Tenkorang said this when he was speaking at an engagement forum the Trust organised for the leadership of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Sunyani.

The engagement, attended by the TUC leadership from Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regions aimed at sensitising participants about the Scheme and the benefits it offers members to enable them to plan effectively towards retirement.

Similar engagements, which have already been held in the Eastern, Volta, Greater Accra, Central, Western and Ashati Regions also form part of the Trust’s efforts to improve public knowledge about its operations.

Dr Ofori-Tenkorang said such engagements helped to address concerns of Members, clarify misconceptions about the operations of the Trust, improve transparency and accountability and enhance stakeholder buy-in.

He indicated that currently, 25 per cent of workers on the SSNIT Scheme paid monthly contributions of GH¢55.00 or less, stressing that, if these workers were to retire on the basic salaries of GH¢500 or less, they would earn a monthly pension of GH¢300.00 as first pension.

Dr Ofori-Tenkorang also stated that about 66 per cent of workers have declared basic salaries of GH¢2,000.00 or less to the Trust, adding that the pensions paid by SSNIT were only a reflection of the basic salaries workers have declared.

“Pensions are a direct reflection of the basic salaries on which contributions are paid, therefore, the higher the salaries on which members contribute, the higher the pension”.

Also, the longer the period of contribution, the higher the Pension Right (percentage of salaries) earned, hence, members who contributed for 35 years and above earn the maximum Pension Right of 60 per cent”, he noted.

Contrary to public perception, Dr Ofori-Tenkorang described the Scheme as “generous”, arguing that even though workers contributed 11 per cent of their basic salaries, the Scheme guaranteed Members up to 60 per cent of the average of the three years’ best salaries and pays them pension for life with annual increments.

“The amount pensioners receive is better than what they would have received if they had invested their contributions in 91-Day Treasury Bills. For Pensioners who have been on the Pension Payroll for 15 years, they have received more than twice what they would have received from Treasury Bills”, he demonstrated.

He encouraged participants to focus on the value the SSNIT Scheme offered and contributed on their correct salaries to enjoy enhanced pensions, adding that, the SSNIT Scheme was open to all workers in Ghana.

“All workers including self-employed persons can join and contribute to the Scheme to enjoy pensions in the future’’, he said.

Dr Ofori-Tenkorang explained SSNIT would this year rollout a comprehensive campaign to register self-employed persons and informal sector workers onto the Scheme.

“SSNIT scheme is a good one and what you put in determines what you get. So, workers should take advantage of the value the Scheme offers and ensure their contributions are paid on their consolidated salaries for enhanced pensions’’, he added.

Mr Joshua Ansah, the Deputy Secretary-General of the TUC, entreated participants to take full advantage of the engagement to become better equipped to educate the workers they represented.

He urged workers to think about retirement, saying “we must all think about retirement the very moment we receive our appointment letters, because a day is coming when we can no longer work’’.

Mr Ansah suggested “employers and labour must engage the government and negotiate for higher consolidated basic salaries to improve pensions. It is the surest way workers can enjoy enhanced pensions”, he indicated.

Earlier in a welcoming address, Mr Alfred Tettey, the Bono Regional Chairman of TUC, commended the Trust for continuously engaging workers and leadership of the TUC and urged the participants to listen with rapt attention and ask questions in order to gain better understanding and clarity of the Scheme.

Mr Elvis Amponsah, a participant and member of Teachers and Educational Workers Union of TUC, indicated the engagement had been beneficial, saying ‘‘this engagement is a laudable one, however, more of such meetings must be held to get workers to really understand the Scheme and contribute towards securing their future’’.

Madam Paula Yuorbaare, the Women’s Committee Chairperson for the Union of Industries, Commerce and Finance Workers, applauded the Trust for the continuous engagement with stakeholders.

She said, ‘‘engagements such as this help us become better informed about the Scheme so that we can further educate our colleagues as well as other workers to join and contribute to the Scheme’’.

The (SSNIT or the Trust) is a statutory public institution charged under the National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766 as amended by Act 883) with the administration of Ghana’s Basic National Social Security Scheme.

Its mandate is to cater for the First-Tier of the Three-Tier Pension Scheme. Currently, the Trust is the largest non-bank financial institution in Ghana.

The SSNIT Scheme replaces part of the lost income of Members due to Old Age, Invalidity or upon the death of a Member, where nominated dependant (s) receive a lump sum payment. It also pays Emigration benefits to non-Ghanaian Members who are leaving Ghana permanently.

Source: GNA

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