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Organised labour accuses SSNIT of misinterpreting Pension Law

Organised Labour has accused the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) of misinterpreting the Pension Law resulting in the payment of low premiums to contributors.

According to the General Secretary of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Dr Justice Yankson, the situation has rendered pensioners worse off and in an unstable financial condition.

 “The framers of the law indicated that the lump sum is calculated as 25 per cent of monthly pensions for 144 months whereas SSNIT calculates it as 25 per cent of monthly pensions for 83 months instead of 144. The difference between the application and non-application of annuity on lump sum equals 41.9 per cent,” he stated.

He was speaking at a Trade Union leadership forum on Organised Labour Pension Committee Report yesterday, in Accra.

The forum organised by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Ghana (FES) sought to brief members of the Organised Labour on issues concerning pension and how best it could be resolved.

Dr Yankson said the actuarial principles used by SSNIT often caused problems for pensioners and urged SSNIT to move according to the principles provided by law.

He noted that under Section 211 of Act 766, Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS) as a pension scheme which provided a defined benefit formula for calculating benefit amounts without regards to contributions.

According to Dr Yankson the inconsistencies in the calculations of SSNIT payments, past credit and payment of the tier 2 contributions were of concern to majority of workers.

Dr Yankson added that the contributions being received were far lower than what was expected and workers were to receive higher than what was being paid to them presently.

General Secretary of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Mr Yaw Baah said there were many challenges that needed to be addressed and the forum presented the best opportunity for organised labour to discuss these issues and take the best action.

He said that there were governance and accountability issues with SSNIT hence, the need to give clear accounts of how pensions are calculated before arriving at the final figure.

Mr Baah stressed the importance of resolving these issues by January 2020 so that pensioners would not be negatively impacted as the tier 2 scheme would be active by then and pensioners could be cheated through the calculation of the past credits.


BY ABEDUWAA LUCY APPIAH AND FREDERICK GADESE-MENSAH

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