SSNIT determined to recover over 297 billion cedis debt

Sat, 6 Aug 2005 Source: GNA

Sogakope/Adidome, Aug 6, GNA - The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) is taking all necessary steps including prosecutions to recover more than 297 billion cedis indebtedness, being unpaid workers' monthly social security contributions. Mr Richard Ampadu, Operations Coordinator of the Trust said the total indebtedness of 297.7 billion cedis as at June, this year, had increased by 33.7 billion cedis from the previous figure of 264 billion as at September, last year.

He was speaking at separate seminars organized by the Trust at Adidome and Sogakope, in the North Tongu and South Tongu districts respectively at the weekend.

More than 400 participants attended the seminar aimed at sensitising all stakeholders to enhance the sustainability of the Trust. "We will continue with the necessary steps to recover all arrears of contributions owed the scheme", Mr Ampadu said.

He said the growth in the number of pensioners hitting 64,392 this year, had brought more pressure on the scheme, which was self-financing with such individual contributions, warning that employers would not be allowed to have their own ways.

Ms Eva Amegashie, Deputy Head of the Public Affairs Department, speaking on: "Overview of Social Security in Ghana, its effects on the Ghanaian Worker", advised employees not to connive with their employers to quote low salary levels when it came to social security contribution payments.

She said under such practices, one only ended up cheating oneself in the future payments of the three benefits under the scheme - Old Age Pension, Invalidity Pension and Survivors' Lump, all being income related.

Ms Amegashie said undue change of dates of birth, use of multiple names or use of other people's registration numbers and the failure to update one's list of beneficiaries posed problems in processing claims. On "Improving Customer Relations In SSNIT, The Way Forward", she said the Trust was carving a new image by improving on efficiency, adding that a pilot program to increase contributors by roping in informal sector workers, had begun in Kumasi, Koforidua, and Accra, under which contributors paid premiums for either long term pension or for loans, saying formal sector workers could also join.

Mr Joy Charles Abbey, Denu branch Manager of SSNIT, speaking on "Shortcomings of employers, its effects on the Ghanaian worker", said the performance of employers under his branch was discouraging, noting that more than half of the 292 companies under it had defaulted in paying in workers' contributions, totalling about 700 million cedis. He advised employees to make regular checks on their statements of account from SSNIT to ensure that their monthly contributions tallied with the SNNIT records so that they were not denied the proper pension benefits as a result of the inactions of their employers. 07 Aug. 05

Source: GNA