The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has saved an amount of GH¢500 million in the last four years through financial prudence and diverse cost-cutting mechanisms.
According to SSNIT, this had been achieved through the deletion of ‘ghost’ (non-existing) pensioners from its payroll, savings on legacy investments, and savings on Information Communication Technology (ICT) support fees.
These savings, the Trust said, had “ultimately strengthened the scheme and contributed to its long-term sustainability.”
This was disclosed by the Director General of SSNIT, Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang, in Accra on Wednesday when SSNIT presented a Toyota Hilux pickup vehicle to the National Pensioners Association to facilitate its administrative work.
Dr Ofori-Tenkorang provided a breakdown of the money the Trust had saved for the country, saying, “Already, we have made total savings of over GH¢512 million since 2017. These include GH¢264 million savings on legacy investment transactions, net savings of over GH¢114 million as at December 16, 2020 from the deactivation of over 11,000 pensioners from the payroll, and savings over GH¢121 million on ICT support fees over the period.”
The SSNIT boss stated that despite the adverse effect of the COVID-19 on businesses, the Trust spent more money in payment of benefits to contributors and that they were expecting such expenditure to even see an increment this year.
He said, “Our expenditure on benefits keeps increasing. Last year alone, we spent GH¢3.3 billion in benefits payments. This is made up of almost GH¢3 billion (2.97 billion) to pensioners and over GH¢330 million in lump-sum payments to other beneficiaries (refund of contributions, survivors’ lump sum and emigration benefit.”
“This is expected to increase further this year as more workers retire and apply for their benefits.
“That is why we, as managers of your hard-earned monies that you’ve put away for retirement, have to exercise the highest level of financial prudence and integrity in the administration of the Pension Fund so we can continue to discharge our duties to you.”
Dr Ofori-Tenkorang then stated that, “To meet these obligations, we will continue to adopt innovative ways to grow the fund and carry our further cost-cutting measures.”
The SSNIT boss said the Trust would this year capitalise on technology as a tool for improved performance, education of the public and extension of social security coverage to all workers in the country, particularly those in the informal sector of the economy.
He said SSNIT would, within the first half of the year, deploy in-house IT system to replace existing ones, noting that the new software would enhance operational efficiency, deliver superior service to members and clients and eliminate the annual recurrent expenditure associated with the current system.
He explained that the new IT system would also support the payment of contributions and benefits through the use of electronic payment platforms, including mobile money transactions.
BY FRANCIS NTOW