SSNIT takes education on social security to University of Ghana

Dr  John Ofori-Tenkorang    (middle),D-G,SSNIT, interacting with some of the students at the  event .Photo Seth Osabukle

Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang (middle),D-G,SSNIT, interacting with some of the students at the event.  Photo Seth Osabukle

The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), in collaboration with the University Students Association of Ghana (USAG), organised an information-sharing forum on the University of Ghana campus to educate students about the importance of social security.

The forum, dubbed SSNIT Info Shop, was held with the objective of helping university students to appreciate how SSNIT could help them to prepare, secure and take control of their lives before and beyond age 60 or in the event of permanent invalidity.

The forum, held at the Economics Department of the University of Ghana in Accra on Saturday was on the theme: “SSNIT! Your security for tomorrow,” and was attended by scores of Legon students.

Some of the students took advantage of the programme to enroll on the scheme.

As part of the programme, the students were taken through the SSNIT Act, the benefits of pension and the socio-economicbenefit and economic impact of the scheme on Ghana.

The Director-General of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang speaking at the event urged students to enroll with the SSNIT scheme to protect their future income security.

“Social Security is a human right issue for every worker and it is non-negotiable,” he said.

The Director-General cautioned the students not to think that they were young and had long years ahead of them to work.

“After acquiring quality education and getting a good job and marriage, the inevitable contigency that will happen to us is retirement,” he told the students and ask them to start preparing towards that.

He said it was important for students to start contributing early to the scheme so that they earn enhanced pension on retirement.

Touching on the importance of a pension scheme, he said it helps an individual to lead an independent financial life after retirement, a period where and individual’s income dwindles and health deteriorates.

On the SSNIT Info Shop, Dr Ofori-Tenkorang, said the programme had been designed to educate University students on pension’s issues.

He said the maiden programme was held at KNUST and from Legon the next outreach programme would held in Tamale.

Dr Ofori-Tenkorang disclosed that SSNIT intends to provide financial support for final year students who do their theses on pension and social protection issues.

The Portfolio Performance and Monitoring Manager of SSNIT, Mrs Patience Owusu speaking on the Socio-economic impact of the SSNIT Scheme said SSNIT had invested in areas such as finance, education, health, real estate, recreation, services, energy and manufacturing.

She said every investment was guided by the SSNIT Investment Guide which was approved by the board of SSNIT.

Mrs Owusu said SSNIT, among other considerations,  invest in assets which bring good returns and yield and preserve the capital of the scheme adding that 99 per cent of SSNIT’s investment were in domestic assets.

Mrs Owusu said SSNIT investment in education and health had helped to expand access to education and health in Ghana, saying SSNIT had invested in 4250-bed hostel facility and built a lot of hospitals and clinics.

The Benefits Coordinator, Leslie Botchway, who spoke on the benefits of pension, said the contributors of SSNIT scheme stood to benefit from monthly pension and or a lump sum.

He said expatriates had been included in the SSNIT pension scheme and would be paid if they were leaving Ghana.

Charles Akwei Gershong, the Public Education Officer of SSNIT said the pension scheme was based on the traditional model of caring for each other.

He said the traditional model of caring for a sick or incapacitated family member was formalised in 1965 when pension was introduced in the country.

Mr Gerson said SSNIT pension was expanded when the three-tier pension scheme was introduced.

Dr D.K. Twerefour, a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Economics at the University of Ghana, commended SSNIT for the programme and urged students to take issues of pension seriously.

The President of USAG, Albert Oppong Kesse said USAG decided to partner SSNIT to sensitise tertiary students on pension issues.

He said the issue of pension should not only be the concern of people going on retirement, but students as well.

By Kingsley Asare

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