Disparities in SSNIT pension allowance is not a basis for reforms

Dr. John Ofori Tenkorang John Ofori Tenkorang, Chief Executive Officer of SSNIT

Tue, 26 Jul 2022 Source: GNA

Mr John Ofori-Tenkorang, the Chief Executive Officer, Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), has stated that the disparities in pension allowances was not a basis for reforms of the scheme.

He said the fact that there were wide gaps between the highest and lowest amount people receive as SSNIT pension allowance did not indicate that the scheme needed reforms.

“SSNIT is an insurance company which insures the income of workers and your benefit at the end of service is determined by the amount of money you insure. So, if you came to insure GHc500.00 you will be paid the equivalent of the GHc 500.00 and if you insure GHc 20,000.00 you will be paid the equivalent of GHc 20,000.00. So, the gap is always going to be there as long as people earn different salaries.”

Mr Ofori-Tenkorang made the observation at a stakeholder meeting to engage Muslim leaders on the theme: “Extending pension coverage to the self employed and informal sector workers; the role of Muslim leaders.”

He said the meeting was part of a series of stakeholders meeting to engage the leaders of various groups, which play very influential roles in society, to enlighten them on the benefit of the scheme and the need to guarantee their future with SSNIT.

He said, “this conversation is about how we are going to work together to extend pension coverage to all Ghanaian workers, including the people who are self-employed who work in the informal sector, which happened to be the majority of Ghanaian workers.”

The CEO said the SSNIT law charged them to make sure that they insure income security for every worker in Ghana.

“Ghana’s population is about 30 million with 11.5 million workers. Out of this only 1.7 million of them come to SSNIT to insure their income, the rest do not have any hope for income replacement in the future, and this is something we need to change.”

 “Its survivability is also dependent on the young people joining the scheme to make it sustainable into the future. So as part of extending our tentacles to reach these people, we figured that if we engage the leadership of these groups, they will help us spread the good news of SSNIT.”

Mr Ofori-Tenkorang said so far 63 percent of contributors belonged to the private sector wile only 36 percent work in the public sector. Only

one percent self-employed, indicating that majority of self-employed people had not come to insure their incomes for the future.

He said they wanted to change the narrative that SSNIT was opened to only public sector workers. “SSNIT is opened to all Ghanaian workers, but unfortunately we have not done a lot of education on it so we want to change the narrative gradually.”

The CEO noted that one must be between the ages of 15 and 45 to join the scheme, and SSNIT keeps 13.5 percent of the income generated while 2.5 percent was allocated to the National Health Insurance Scheme.

“The law enjoins us to do so to be able to have a society that is stable and robust, reduce old age poverty and prevent people from relying so much on government interventions.”

He said the benefit of the SSNIT pension scheme include old age pension, emigration lump sum, invalidity, survivors, old age lump sum pension, among others.

Mr Ofori-Tenkorang said SSNIT was planning to roll out a comprehensive campaign using multiple channels, including traditional and new media, activators, walk-in and phone calls, convenient registration and payment platforms partnership and collaborations among others to improve access to their schemes.

He said since the inception of theses stakeholder engagements, the number of self-employed people had increased from 14,000 to 16 000 within the last two months and expressed the hope that in a year time they would have over a million people who would joined just by making it easy for them to join and letting them know the benefits.

Source: GNA
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