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Koforidua: SSNIT Blames Low Pension Pay on Poor Basic Salaries Declared By Workers

The leadership of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in partnership with the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has commenced a nationwide tour to educate regional and district leaders of the Congress about the Scheme. 

Addressing participants at the opening of the regional engagements at Koforidua in the Eastern Region, the Chief Actuary of SSNIT, Mr. Joseph Poku said the meetings, which are being organized in collaboration with the national executives of TUC form part of the Trust’s efforts to improve public knowledge about its operations.

According to Mr. Poku, “engagements such as this help to address concerns of Members, clarify misconceptions about the operations of the Trust, improve transparency and accountability and enhance stakeholder buy-in.”

The SSNIT Pension Scheme currently has an active membership of over 1.7 million.

 In June 2022, the Trust paid a total of GH¢277.13 million to some 228,367 pensioners.

The highest pension earner receives GH¢142,564.97 per month, while the lowest-earning pensioner gets GH¢300.00.

In his presentation, the Chief Actuary explained that currently, 25% of workers on the SSNIT Scheme pay monthly contributions of GHS 55 or less. He further noted that if these workers were to retire on the basic salaries of GHS 500 or less, they would earn a monthly pension of GHS 300.00.

He explained that 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.

He also added that the longer the period of contribution, the higher the pension right earned, therefore members who contribute for 35 years and above earn the maximum pension right of 60%. 

The data also shows that over 87% of workers have declared basic salaries of GHS 3000 or less to the Trust.

The Chief Actuary indicated that the pensions paid by SSNIT are only a reflection of the basic salaries workers have declared.

He described the Scheme as generous and argued that, even though workers contribute 11% of their basic salaries, the Scheme guarantees Members up to 60% of the average of the three years’ best salaries and pays them a pension for life with annual increments.

Comparatively, he showed that what Pensioners are receiving is better than what they would have received if they had invested their contributions in the 91-Day Treasury Bills.

“For Pensioners who have been on the Pension Payroll for 20 years, they have received more than five times what they would have received from Treasury Bills”.

The Chief Actuary encouraged participants to focus on the value the SSNIT Scheme offers and contribute to their correct salaries to enjoy enhanced pensions.

He added that SSNIT will this year roll out a comprehensive campaign to register self-employed persons and informal sector workers onto the Scheme.

“The Trust will soon launch an SSNIT App and Mobile Money payment platform to ease doing business with Members, especially the self-employed.

Earlier, the Deputy Secretary General of TUC, Mr. Joshua Ansah commended the Management of SSNIT for improving transparency and entreated participants to take full advantage of the engagement and ask questions to gain a better understanding and clarity of the Scheme.

The Trust is hopeful that the engagement with members of the Congress will also help to deepen the knowledge of stakeholders about the Scheme, and the value it offers and increases the level of awareness among Members.

Welcoming the participants to the engagement, the Eastern Regional Chairman of the Trades Union Congress, Mr. Stephen Kwame Appiah, applauded the Management of SSNIT for improvement in the duration it takes for a retiree to receive his first monthly pension after application.

He also praised SSNIT for increasing pensions by 10% though workers in active service received an upward adjustment of 7%.

Madam Agnes Mills is a participant and an administrator at the Centre for National Culture Commended SSNIT for organizing a second stakeholder meeting with representatives of the TUC. She said that engagements such as this help Members become better informed about the Scheme so that they can educate their colleagues and other workers to join and contribute to the Scheme.

The Chairman of the District Council of Labour, Mr. Harrison Adjei Ameraku applauded the Trust for the continuous engagement with stakeholders and encouraged all workers in Ghana to join the SSNIT scheme. He advised workers to frequently check their statements and ensure their employers pay their contributions on time.

The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (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 to 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 dependent(s) receive a lump sum payment. It also pays Emigration benefits to non-Ghanaian Members who are leaving Ghana permanently.

Source: Ansah

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