SSNIT to enrol more self-employed workers
The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) is to embark on a massive campaign, to enrol more self-employed workers onto the scheme.
It is aimed at registering 500,000 self-employed workers and reactivating 250,000 dormant contributors in 2023.
In the ensuing years, SSNIT is expected to provide contributors with social protection, reduce poverty and over-dependence on family relations and friends during old age.
The initiative, dubbed Self-Employed Enrolment Drive (SEED), would be launched in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital, on Wednesday, according to a statement by SSNIT, made available to the Ghanaian Times, in Accra, yesterday.
It said the SEED was focused on enrolling self-employed persons and workers in the informal sector on the SSNIT scheme, to contribute regularly from their full earnings, to earn pension during old age.
According to SSNIT, out of the current estimated 9.9 million working population, only 1.8 as of end of March, were enrolled onto the SSNIT Scheme.
The Trust disclosed that out of the estimated 9.9 million working population, 6.7 million were self-employed and of the self-employed, only 600,000 persons have some form of social security.
“This implies that about 90 per cent of self-employed workers do not have any form of social security cover,” the statement said.
SSNIT said it had worked hard to increase the enrolment onto the scheme from figure 1.2 million in 2017, to 1.8 million in 2023.
Despite this, the statement indicated that the number was still not encouraging as compared to the estimated working population of 9.9 million; out of which 6.7 million are self-employed with 3.1 million falling between the age bracket of 15 and 45.
“This clearly leaves room for improvement, especially when less than two per cent out of the Trust’s current active membership are self-employed,” SSNIT stated.
The statement said, to ensure that self-employed persons and workers in the informal sector have social protection and a monthly pension among others, the Trust was rolling out an initiative dubbed the SEED.
SSNIT explained that the initiative would provide social protection in the form of partial income replacement for the self-employed during old age and in the event of invalidity, adding that nominated survivors of members who would passed on, would benefit from a Lump Sum payment.
“SEED is essentially the Tier One product that has been repackaged to encourage the self-employed and informal sector workers to sign up for the SSNIT Scheme and also to continuously contribute on their full earnings for a guaranteed pension among other benefits,” SSNIT stated.
Among the benefits of the scheme SSNIT, the Trust said the self-employed who joined the scheme would enjoy regular source of income (monthly pension) during old age until death.
It said the SSNIT scheme offered disability insurance (Invalidity Pension) to contributors in the event of invalidity resulting from illness or an accident regardless of age.
“The SSNIT scheme provides life policy by paying the survivors of Members who pass on (Survivors Lump Sum), exempts members from paying National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) premiums and assist in reducing poverty among the aged and ensure every worker has social protection,” the statement indicated.
The Trust said SSNIT Pension scheme was for every worker, including the self-employed, adding that SSNIT had never defaulted in the payment of benefits since it started paying pensions more than 30 years ago.
SSNIT encouraged those who had not been enrolled on the scheme to do so to enjoy retirement income security and said refusing to plan for retirement had serious implications.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE