Enrollment onto pension scheme:

We’ll target informal sector workers next year – SSNIT

 Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) says it will embark on a massive education campaign next year to enroll more informal sector workers onto the pension scheme.

According to SSNIT, there were only 20,000 informal sector workers enrolled on the SSNIT pension scheme, compared with the 1.7 million formal sector workers.

SSNIT’s current arrangement mandates that informal sector workers contribute to the scheme and enjoy monthly pension when they retire from active work, like formal sector workers enjoy.

Director-General of SSNIT, Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang, who disclosed these in an exclusive interview with the Ghanaian Times, on Friday said the move was to enrol more informal sector workers onto the pension scheme.

The Chief Executive of the National Pension Regulatory Authority, Hayford Atta Krufi, had indicated that there were only six per cent of informal sector work­ers enrolled with pension.

Informal sector workers are individuals who did their own jobs such as masons, plumbers, and traders.

The Ghanaian Times wanted to seek from Dr Ofori-Tenkorang, measures SSNIT was pursuing to enrol more infor­mal sector workers on the SSNIT scheme.

“Next year what we are going to do is to focus on the structured sections of the informal sector people who are running legitimate businesses or self-employed who probably make a lot more money than you and I , but do not enjoy any form on pension when they can no longer work,” Dr Ofori-Tenkorang said.

He said the informal sector workers were losing out from the SSNIT pension scheme because they could also contribute and enjoy monthly pension during old age.

“In this country almost everybody that does not work in an office consider themselves as working in the informal sec­tor but with that classification what that means is that all the people who have their own private business or self-employed do not get roped into the SSNIT scheme because they say they are in the informal system so for us what we are going to do is to focus on the structured sections of the informal sector,” he said.

Dr Ofori-Tenkorang said there was the need to carry the message to them to convince them that there was value in the SSNIT scheme, stressing “for those people you cannot enforce compliance because it’s voluntary.”

“Our aim is that if the people know the benefits of the SSNIT scheme and get convinced that they are short-chang­ing themselves if they do not join SSNIT, then we can get them to join and contrib­ute voluntarily so that is the campaign that we are going to wage relentlessly starting the beginning of 2022,” he said.

Dr Ofori-Tenkorang said the SSNIT pension product was unique, since it pro­vided workers monthly pension to depend on after retirement until one went to be with his or her maker.

“Everybody should be entitled to monthly pension, not the lump sum thing that you go and they put in a tier two and when you go on retirement then they give it to you as a lump sum. SSNIT products will pay you till you die. That’s a unique product and everybody in the informal sector should be entitled to it. Nobody offers that product to the informal sector. So we are going to sell that product but the difference here is that unlike the formal sector, where they are compelled by law to join, in this sector there is no compulsion. So what that means is that we have to go out there and sell, so instead of going there to enforce compli­ance, we are going to go there and make a sales pitch,” said the Director-General of SSNIT.

Dr Ofori-Tenkorang disclosed that from next year informal sector workers could walk into our offices and register for pension.

BY KINGSLEY ASARE

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