The Director General of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang, has argued that the pension scheme provided more reward to clients than they invest during their days of active service.
He lauded the scheme as generous and said although workers contributed 11 per cent of their basic salary, the SSNIT scheme guaranteed members up to 60 percent of the average of their best three years’ salaries and paid them monthly pensions till they were no more.
He, therefore, called on workers in the country, particularly sole proprietors and people in the informal sector to join the scheme and secure their future.
Dr Ofori-Tenkorang stated this at a regional stakeholders’meeting at Wawith members of the Trades Union Congress(TUC) and other workers in the Upper West Region on Thursday.
The meeting was organised by the TUC in conjunction with SSNIT and it was on the theme “Understanding the value proposition of SSNIT: The role of Organised Labour as partners in promoting the scheme among members.”
DrOfori-Tenkorangsaid the scheme was interested in the welfare of pensioners and cited for instance that a worker who retired on a basic salary of GH₵500 a month was likely to earn a first pension of GH₵300.00.
He said in addition, the scheme took notice of high cost of living as well as rising inflation rate and said SSNIT reviewed the pension annually for increment to ensure that monies received by beneficiaries were substantive.
“Pensions are direct reflection of basic salaries on which contributions are paid; therefore, the higher the salaries on which members contribute, the higher the pension right or percentage of salaries earned,” he said.
He used the opportunity to advise workers to monitor the monthly contributions made on their salaries to the scheme to ensure that employers had declared the right basic salary and were paying the exact contribution for the worker in order to receive a justified pension in future.
“Sometimes people earn emoluments aside their basic salaries which are not really added to the monthly salary so you realise that although they were earning more whilst in active service, their pension is nothing to write home about; this is not because SSNIT is cheating the client, this is because the basic salary did not include the other remuneration, hence, no contribution was made on them,” he explained.
To this end, DrOfori-Tenkorang suggested that labour unions entered into discussions with employers on adding allowances to the basic salary of employees to ensure that contributions were made on the extra income in order to increase the pension of the worker at the end of the day.
For his part, the Deputy Secretary-General of the TUC, Mr Joshua Ansah, explained that the increased dialogue and engagement between workers and the SSNIT was to help erode popular perception that the operations of SSNIT was shrouded in secrecy and to ensure that workers were more informed about the scheme.
He indicated that the engagements would lead to strict compliance to the payment of the SSNIT contribution of workers by employers as well as ensure that employees received their due after retirement.
FROM LYDIA DARLINGTON FORDJOUR, WA