The low level of compliance by employers to pay contributions of their employees is a threat to the sustainability of the pension scheme, Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang, Director-General of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has said.
“Often, less than 50 per cent of employers pay their workers’ contributions by the 14th of the ensuing month, which is the deadline for contributions payment,” he said.
Dr Ofori-Tenkorang was speaking at a training session organised by SSNIT for focal persons in Koforidua to deepen their understanding on its operations and the value the scheme provides.
The focal persons, made up of workers selected from various institutions in Koforidua, would be equipped to play critical roles as peer educators on pensions and its related issues.
Dr Ofori-Tenkorang urged employees to impress on their employers to pay promptly to avoid needless penalties and court actions.
Speaking further, the SSNIT boss encouraged employees to prompt their employers to enable them to safeguard their right to pension.
Touching on low pensions, the Director-General stated emphatically that, low pensions were not a creation of SSNIT, explaining that “what you put in determines what you get,” adding, the pension the SSNIT scheme paid was predetermined.
“All the factors that determine how much one receive as benefits all depend on the contributor. So, the inputs, such as the age at which one retires, the average of three years’ best salaries and the number of months’ contributions have been paid are entirely from you, the worker or employer,” he said.
Dr Ofori-Tenkorang maintained that pensions were a direct reflection of salaries earned, and on which contributions were paid, adding that members of the scheme would, therefore, earn high benefits, if contributions were paid on high salaries.
The SSNIT boss, speaking on improved delivery, revealed that workers who retired were assured of their pay within maximum of 16 days, once financial records were accurate.
He said the Trust had distributed statements of accounts to its members through email and text messages, and therefore, called on all contributors to update their records to enable his outfit give regular updates on their contributions.
Dr Ofori-Tenkorang noted that the PNDCL 247 was phased out on December 31, 2019, and stated that SSNIT would fulfill its part in the full implementation of Act 766, adding that SSNIT would process and pay all members who turned 60 from January 2020, their monthly pension using Act 766 and in addition, pay a onetime past credit.
“The past credit will be paid to only members who had contributed into the scheme as at December 31,2009,” he revealed, emphasising that payment of lump sum would be the responsibility of Tier 2 Fund managers.
He said ghost names had been deleted, saving the Trust GH₵ 62million as at November 2019, adding that the Trust would do its best to provide a scheme that was enviable and attractive to employers to encourage them patronise the scheme without compulsion.
FROM AMA TEKYIWAA AGYEMAN, KOFORIDUA