The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has commended the leadership of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust for its engagements with regional organised groups.
Speaking at a forum held in Kumasi to discuss issues related to pensions and benefit computations.
The Secretary-General of TUC, Dr Yaw Baah expressed his appreciation to SSNIT for its willingness and commitment in taking the initiative to engage regional organised labour on pensions.
“I am very happy that we have the Deputy Director-General in charge of Finance and Administration at SSNIT in our midst. We had the Director-General himself with us in Bolgatanga when we started this regional engagement. I must say that in all my twenty-five (25) years in the TUC, this is the first time we are getting the top hierarchy of SSNIT moving from region to region to engage organised labour. This is indeed very commendable.”
According to him, pensions have been a major concern for workers in Ghana therefore the interaction between SSNIT and organised labour will clear any doubts about the Pension Scheme.
The General Secretary said it is essential for every worker in Ghana to take active interest in their social security and retirement planning and to ensure their employers pay on their behalf.
He charged participants to encourage their friends and colleagues to do same.
“This educational forum has already been held in Bolgatanga, Tamale, WA and Sunyani and itis aimed at promoting knowledge of the SSNIT Scheme, empowering organized labour as peer educators for the Trust as well as demystifying some of the issues surrounding benefits computation and partnering the Trust in compliance enforcement. These regional meetings are also in compliance with the directive by the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) to the Trust to intensify its public education activities and to ensure that members of the Scheme understand how their benefits are calculated”.
On his part, the Deputy Director- General of SSNIT in charge of Finance and Administration, Michael Addo said SSNIT’s mandate is to pay benefits, and that mandate has faithfully been executed over the years.
According to him, pensions are indexed every year to maintain the purchasing power of pensioners.
“The Trust increases the benefits of pensioners through the annual indexation which was started in 1992. This is determined using the average salary growth of active contributors, annual average change in consumer price index and the cost implications of applying various rates of indexation on the Fund. Considering these factors, the overall indexation rate for 2019 was 11%. This overall indexation was redistributed as a Fixed Rate of 9% and a Flat Amount of GH¢ 15.89. The redistribution is done to cushion members on low pensions arising as a result of low basic salaries earned during active service” adding that “This year’s indexation resulted in an increase ofGH¢ 212.16 million in pensions for pensioners on the pension payroll as at December 2018 for the year 2019.”
Michael Addo added that there are no myths surrounding benefits computation and that pensions are a direct reflection of salaries on which contributions were paid.
“With the SSNIT Pension Scheme, what you put in is what you get.
In effect, the salary on which one contributes is a key factor in the computation of pensions. Therefore, the higher the salary you contribute on, the higher your pension.” He said.