Nominee update with SSNIT

It has become increasingly worrisome to see or hear family and dependants of deceased SSNIT Contributors and Pensioners misunderstand how the SSNIT nomination works. This seeks to bridge the gap between SSNIT, and its Members and Clients on the issue of nominee update, the processes and dynamics involved, and the seriousness that needs to be attached as it is similar to making a will in the general sense.

As part of our core mandates, we process and pay benefits to eligible members and nominated dependants. A typical example of such benefits is the Survivors’ Lump Sum. This benefit is paid as a lump sum to the nominated dependant (s) of a member or pensioner upon his/her death. This happens when a member dies whilst in service or a pensioner who dies before he/she attains 75 under Act 766 or 72 years under PNDC 247. When such a contingency occurs, the Trust falls on the nominee information provided by a SSNIT Contributor/ Pensioner. It is stated in the NATIONAL PENSIONS ACT, 2008, ACT 766, SECTION 81 SUB SECTION (5) that a Contributor or Pensioner should update his/her nomination at least every five (5) years.

Nominee Update is important in the following situations; marriage, childbirth, divorce, death of a nominated beneficiary among others. It is imperative that our Members and Clients update their nomination to prevent delay in claim processing, ultimately.

Nominee update reduces the tendency of family members withholding information regarding the deceased’s children (especially minors who are being catered for by Act 560) from SSNIT officials. This, usually, happens where the deceased member or pensioner failed to nominate his or her spouse(s) and all the children.

The nomination process, also, minimizes the tendency of certain family members, particularly children and spouse, of seeking inclusion at the Law Court. Largely, spouses and children tend not to show interest in dragging the process to that extent.

Inadvertently,an ex-spouse who is not removed from one’s nomination shall lead to the application of the PNDC 111 to redistribute such a nominee’s portion.  The PNDC 111 favors the deceased’s Parents, Spouse(s), Children, and Customary Successor. The redistribution shall, therefore, favor certain relations who ordinarily are not part of the initial nomination.

Constant update of nomination eliminates impersonation. It is unlikely for a non-nominated beneficiary to receive any benefit that is not due them unless the PNDC 111 and/or the Childrens’ Act, Act 560 is applicable.Legal actions are taken against one who attempts to impersonate.

A deceased nominee who pre-deceased a Contributor or Pensioner needs to be removed from any SSNIT nominee records. Otherwise, in the event of the death of such a Contributor or Pensioner, family members and dependants shall provide evidence of such a deceased nominee.This process, sometimes, is burdensome to the surviving dependants.

We entreat all our members, clients, stakeholders and the general public to endeavor to update their nominee records stating the official names, dates of birth and relationship of such depandants, accordingly.

SSNIT, as an institution, has trained its Staff to conduct thorough interview and field investigation to ascertain the genuineness of every beneficiary, whether nominated or not. Nevertheless, it is necessary that such investigations will be devoid of falsehood hence the need to update one’s nomination, periodically.

SSNIT:  WE DELIVER ON OUR PROMISE.

The writer is the Deputy Manager, Corporate Affairs, SSNIT- Accra North Area.

BY JEMIMAH OFORI

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