The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has said it will not relent in its efforts to ensure that only qualified pensioners benefited from the scheme.
It is thus considering a review of present laws regarding the scheme such that beneficiaries were paid based on an average of their total years in active service rather than the average of one’s best three years.
“SSNIT is committed to paying all legitimate claims before it and I must state unequivocally that SSNIT is not cheating pensioners. It is not in my interest or any SSNIT employee not to pay the legitimate claims of any pensioner.
I think it is time we must have conversation on whether it is appropriate to just pay dividends based on only three best years of contributions or not because in other jurisdictions like the UK, the lifetime average is what is used,” Director-General of the Trust, Dr John Ofori Tenkorang stated.
He was speaking at a pre- May Day forum in Accra yesterday on the theme; “Sustainable Pensions: The Role of Social Partners.”
According to the DG, about 6,332 ghost names had been deleted from the pension pay roll saving the Trust about GH¢ 40 million as of end of December last year.
He mentioned other interventions including a reduction in processing and payment of contributions to 19 days, reclaim of pension monies unpaid by the various banks and introduction of compliance officers to promote transparency and accountability in the scheme.
Dr Tenkorang also clarified that allegations of lower sums of money received by beneficiaries was basically a reflection of what was received from employers and not an attempt by the scheme to short change pensioners.
“Last year, we disbursed about GH¢ 2.5 million on benefit payments and spent a little over one million on invalidity payments,” he said, indicating that SSNIT was committed to increasing sensitisation on its activities to allow for more voluntary contributions.
The Deputy Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Mr Bright Wireko-Brobby in an address urged the leadership of the various labour unions to ensure free flow of information to their members to keep them abreast of happenings on the labour front.
“One of the challenges to labour which often cause agitations was lack of communication where the leadership do not appropriately give out needed information to members and often cause rift between employers and employees.”
Mr Wireko-Brobby advised labour unions to always channel their grievances through the appropriate quarters for redress instead of resorting to demonstrations.
The Country Director of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Dennis Zulu urged workers to be technologically savvy to effectively compete with their global counterparts and resolve challenges at the workplace.
He also urged SSNIT to continue educating the public and promote transparency in its activities.
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH