The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), has identified the biggest threat to the sustainability of the scheme and has therefore adopted measures and policy interventions to deal with the emerging hiccups.
“After prudent managerial auditing, we have identified among other things that in the current global technological advancement and changing phases of pension schemes good quality human resource or the lack of it, is critical to the survival of any pension scheme.
According to Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang SSNIT Director-General, “SSNIT Board and management has therefore instituted procedures such as performance management, succession planning, the right technology for our operations among others to ensure that we retain our staff.”
Addressing a media encounter at Aburi in the Eastern Region, over the weekend, Dr Ofori-Tenkorang affirmed that, “the new management team will continue to strengthen performance-based reward system that will ensures that we encourage and reward hard work and deal appropriately with laggards”.
The SSNIT Director-General assured stakeholders that, the new team was implementing decisive strategies to improve customer service, brand and reputation management, which culminated in the Trust being ranked first in the Public Sector category for Customer Service in the 2018 Ghana Customer Service Index Report released by the Institute of Customer Service Professionals.
He said the Board and Management also initiated periodic engagements with staff, which took place during unannounced visits to various Branches and Departments.
The Ghana News Agency’s Francis Ameyibor, reports that Dr Ofori-Tenkorang revealed that to ensure that staff operated professionally, new mechanisms for monitoring staff performance including; mystery shopping, which contributed to customer service officers and other front-line personnel now engaged and treated the public with sensitivity and politeness.
He said management has also introduced the Pensioners Priority Desk to ensure that pensioners who walked into their offices did not queue before being attended to.
“Members of the scheme can now check their statements online and transact business with the Trust through our portal. Through this same portal, employers can now submit their Contributions Reports for validation and make payments at the nearest bank without having to visit any SSNIT Office,” Dr Ofori-Tenkorang noted.
On the way forward, the SSNIT Director-General said over the next two years, “we shall complete the restructuring of our customer service delivery to reduce unnecessary stakeholder exposure to staff with clearly marked out roles to be performed by frontline staff who are properly trained to interact with customers”.
Dr Ofori-Tenkorang noted that by the end of 2019 SSNIT would undertake a number of key initiatives; including; integration through the National Identification Authority (NIA) and payments through MoMo, SSNIT App, Ghana Registration A, Registrar General’s Department integration.
“We are working to change the perception of workers, make sure our stakeholders understand the business and operations of the Trust, the value the scheme provides and thereby pay their contributions voluntarily.
“We took a number of Public Education initiatives such as the SSNIT Info Shop, SSNIT Minute and the use of Digital Communication to spread our message,” the SSNIT Director-General stated.
He explained that SSNIT Info Shop served as an information-sharing forum meant to educate students in the universities about the importance of social security.
He said management introduced a one-minute daily tip on Social Security and Retirement Planning which broke down SSNIT operations and services into bite sized portion which was piloted some radio stations in Accra.
Dr Ofori-Tenkorang said the Trust management team recognised the power of social media, and has taken advantage of new media to reach out to its stakeholders.
He said, the Trust would also embark on an aggressive and sustained Public Education Campaign, “a holistic approach encompassing controlled messaging, media relations, face-to-face interactions and presentations will be rolled out to create a social security informed society”.
Dr Ofori-Tenkorang said the Board, Management and Staff had a collective responsibility as managers and as stakeholders to ensure that employers paid contributions for all workers on the right salaries to ensure members received the appropriate benefits.
“My commitment, our commitment to you and our members, is to run an open and transparent administration, provide accurate and sustainable pensions and other related benefits to contributors and their dependants as and when they fall due,” the SSNIT Director-General noted.
The Deputy Director General in-charge of the Finance and Administration, Michael AddoteyAddo also announced that SSNIT will soon embark on major reforms in National Pension Scheme to conform to international standards, but declined to give details of the reforms.
He, however, disclosed that a department at SSNIT is currently engaged in working on the possible reforms and sooner rather than later, the details will be made public.
On investments, the Deputy Director Generals in-charge of Investments and Development at SSNIT Kofi Bosompem Osafo–Marfo, that there has been improvement in Corporate Governance in subsidiary companies, and this has reduced non-performing assets.
The measures he said, had led to a declaration of dividend on investment such as The Trust Hospital Company Limited in 2018, the first since its incorporation.
Mrs. Laurette Otchere, Deputy Director General in-charge of Operations & Benefits, also addressed the media.