The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) through one of its proactive measures to help make the Scheme a robust one, has been able to weed out 6,339 ghost names from the Scheme.
The Director General of SSNIT (DG), Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang, disclosed this in Bolgatanga, the regional capital of the Upper East Region during an education forum on pension jointly organised by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and the SSNIT on Tuesday.
The DG said SSNIT investments were the best and very generous in the payments of pension benefits to workers after retirement.
Dr Ofori-Tenkorang disclosed that the weeding out of the 6,339 ghost names from the scheme saved the scheme of GH¢40 million and assured contributors to the SSNIT Pension Scheme that a lot of proactive measures had been put in place to make the scheme very robust.
The DG told the workers that gone are the days when the scheme was regarded as depository points, adding that under his leadership and the current Board of Directors and Management, a lot of profitable investments had been made to help ensure that workers’ pensions were paid well and on time.
“Gone are the days when the scheme was regarded as depository point. The scheme is growing very well. In the year 2018 the scheme spent close to GH¢2.5 billion in paying 200,000 pensioners,” he disclosed.
Dr Ofori-Tenkorang stressed that SSNIT conducted risk assessment before undertaking any investment and mentioned the real estates, hospitalities, student hostels, energy sectors, buying of shares in some of the vibrant energy companies and financial institutions sectors, among some of its investments portfolio.
He said stated his outfit had also appointed qualified and competent staff, improved upon its corporate governance structures and also prosecute employers who deliberately refused to pay the SSNIT contributions of their workers.
The DG stated that the quantum of money a pensioner was entitled to depended on the contributor while in active service and hinted that workers who contributed for a longer period and large sum of money to the scheme, stood to gain more than those who did not do so.
He disabused the minds of those who held the belief that pensioners were poorly paid, explaining that the lowest paid pensioner received an amount of GH¢300.00 in a month and the highest GH¢55,899.57.
The Acting General Manager of SSNIT in charge of Benefits, Mr Robert Owusu Sekyre, schooled the workers on the computerisation process of the payment of pension scheme, and entreated the workers to constantly visit the SSNIT offices to update their records.
The Chief Executive Officer of the National Pension Regulatory Authority (NPA), Mr Hayford Atta Krufi, commended the management of SSNIT for being transparent in its dealings with workers and urged them to continue to dialogue with workers on matters relating to the SSNIT Scheme.
The CEO stated that only 1.5 million out of the 13 million Ghanaian workers had been enrolled into the SSNIT and called on the leadership of workers unions to ensure that all workers from the formal and in the informal sectors got enrolled into the scheme.
The forum provided the platform for many of the workers to ask questions pertaining to the operations of the scheme and were provided with answers.
FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, BOLGATANGA