SSNIT is a generous scheme, take advantage of it – SSNIT boss
The Director-General of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Dr. John Ofori-Tenkorang, has said the SSNIT is a generous scheme and urged Ghanaian workers, in both the public and private sectors as well as the informal and the self-employed, to take advantage of the scheme.
Dr. John Ofori-Tenkorang said this on Thursday August 18, 2022, at an educational forum organized by the SSNIT in collaboration with the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in Wa.
The forum forms part of the SSNIT nationwide stakeholder engagements aimed at sensitising regional and district leaders of the TUC about the Scheme and the benefits it offers members to enable them plan effectively towards retirement and act as peer educators.
Dr Ofori-Tenkorang said the SSNIT is a very generous insurance entity that every Ghanaian worker must take advantage of, together with its tax exemptions.
He argued that, although workers contribute 11% of their basic salaries, the Scheme guarantees Members up to 60% of the average of their three years’ best salaries and pays them pension for life with annual increments.
While urging Ghanaian workers to take advantage of SSNIT to enjoy better retirement, Dr. Ofori-Tenkorang hinted that SSNIT will this year rollout a comprehensive campaign to register self-employed persons and informal sector workers onto the Scheme.
The Director-General of the SSNIT said that ‘‘SSNIT is only one piece of the pension puzzle’’ as he clarified the tendency of people synonymizing pension to SSNIT.
He explained that the National Pensions Act, 2008 Act 766 introduced the three-tier pension scheme which he said, “SSNIT manages only the First Tier of the three- tier scheme which is the first part of the puzzle. The Tier 2 and Tier 3 Schemes make up the full pension puzzle and are managed by Corporate Trustees.”
Dr Ofori-Tenkorang advised contributors to check their contribution statements which are made available to them every three months.
He said it would help them ascertain the right amount is paid of their basic salaries into the scheme so that when they retire, they would not be surprised at their earnings.
He assured that the SSNIT has now become more efficient in the execution of its services than ever before in undertaking its mandate including processes of claims, among others.
The Deputy Secretary-General of the TUC, Mr Joshua Ansah said the education was necessary to increase members’ knowledge regarding their contributions to the SSNIT scheme so as to make informed public statements and earn enhanced benefits.
He urged management of SSNIT to device efficient ways of ensuring contributors keep track of their contributions.
The deputy TUC scribe observed that most SSNIT contributors do not understand the operations of the 3-tier schemes, especially the second tier, which he said was worrying.
He urged contributors to endeavor to know who their fund managers of their second tier scheme are, and do regular follow ups on their payments.
“Most of us don’t know who our corporate trustees are and we do not even know whether or not our employers are paying our second tier contributions.
“We all must endeavor to find out who are Corporate Trustees are, follow-up on our contributions and check our statements regularly,’’ Mr Ansah said.
Mr James Kobina Natie, the Upper West Regional Secretary of the National Pensioners’ Association (NPA), said the education by the SSNIT and TUC for their members was necessary in saving many workers the many mistakes they make with their pension contributions.
He observed that, without the SSNIT pension scheme, mortality rate among retirees would have been higher than it is present.
Available data showed that the SSNIT Pension Scheme has an active membership of more than 1.7 million.
In August 2022, the Trust paid a total of GH¢281.30 million to some 230,789 pensioners of which the highest pension earner received GH¢142,564.97 per month, while the lowest-earning pensioner got GH¢300.00.