The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) says it has saved more than Gh¢327 million by removing the names of pensioners who were 75 years and above and failed to renew their pension certificates from the payroll.
Mr Joseph Poku, the Chief Actuary of SSNIT, who announced this, explained that survivors of deceased pensioners took advantage of that to withdraw pension pay even when the SSNIT beneficiaries had died.
SSNIT is a statutory public institution under the National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766 as amended by Act 883) to administrate Ghana’s Basic National Social Security Scheme.
The engagement was on the theme: “Understanding the value proposition of SSNIT: the role of Organized Labour as partners in promoting the scheme among workers in Ghana.”
Representatives from various municipalities and districts consisting of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), Public Service Workers Union (PSWU), Tertiary Education Workers Union (TEWU), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and others were engaged at the meeting.
Participants were led through the calculation of their annual pension interest and enlightened on the various benefits available to them as active contributors to SSNIT.
Mr Poku disclosed that SSNIT has attained about Gh¢10.54 billion in Assets Under Management (AUM) in the sectors of real estate, finance, services, government, manufacturing, ICT and others.
However, he observed that since every business investment had a few setbacks, SSNIT recorded 1.8 per cent non-performing AUM, adding, “management was doing its best to rebalance investment portfolios” to bridge the gap.
Currently, Mr Poku noted that 228,366 workers who were registered with SSNIT had applied for pension pay and 1.7 million workers were active SSNIT contributors.
He revealed that management intended to launch an SSNIT application, mobile money payment platforms and an interactive website to enhance the smooth running of the scheme without visiting the office.
Mr Joshua Ansah, the Deputy Secretary-General for the TUC, applauded SSNIT for adopting the public education module to inform members of SSNIT about its operations.
He said education on SSNIT contributions and pension plans would help eradicate the idea that SSNIT paid a meagre amount of the worker’s 35 years of contribution to them when they retired from work.
Mr Albert Tawiah, a member of the National Pensioners Association, Koforidua District, said some pensioners have had smooth and stress-free transactions with SSNIT, though their monthly earnings in the past as active contributors were little.
He advised the active contributors of SSNIT not to put all their eggs in one basket but find other income-generating businesses to do because in their old age they would not be strong enough to work hard.
Ms Salomey Oduro, a worker at the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), and a member of the PSWU said the wrong perception of SSNIT collecting contributors’ money for their benefit had been cleared.
“I now understand that many things such as issues with the wrong date of birth, no registration for pension benefits account for delays in receiving SSNIT pension pays,” she said.
Ms Oduro advised workers to avoid conniving with their employers to reduce their SSNIT contribution because the higher the contribution, the higher the pension benefit.
Currently, SSNIT is the largest non-bank financial institution in Ghana mandated to cater for the first tier of the three-tier pension scheme.