SSNIT to pay over GHS 3.3 bn in benefits this year

The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) says it expects to pay more than GHC3.3 billion in benefits this year.

As of the third quarter this year, the Trust has paid 2.7 billion to about 220,000 pensioners on pension on payroll.

The Director-General of SSNIT, Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang disclosed this during a programme dubbed ‘the Employers Breakfast Meeting’ in Accra on Tuesday, said the platform was to further enhance and improve the services of the Trust.

Held on the theme “Social Security: Employer Compliance and the impact on businesses and employee morale,” was attended by representatives from the Ghana Employers Association, Trades Union Congress Ghana, Industrial and Commercial Workers Union.

Dr Ofori-Tenkorang said the Trust in 2020 paid in excess of 3.3 billion Ghana cedis in benefits payments.

He explained that the benefits pensioners received after retirement depended on their contributions to the scheme.

“When employers under-declare salaries of workers, it is the workers who suffer in the long run. So ensure your workers receive meaningful pensions when they retire by contributing on their right salaries,” he said.

Dr Ofori-Tenkorang said as of September this year, the confirmed debt of establishments within the private sector amounted to over GHC 230 million.

“This will certainly go up if we retrieve all outstanding contribution reports and update inspections on all establishments,” he stressed.

The Director-General indicated that the inability of employers to honour their financial obligation to SSNIT put pressure on the Trust to fulfil its obligation to pay retirement benefits to workers.

Dr Ofori-Tenkorang said SSNIT was to deploy an in-house developed technological platform to enhance the services of the Trust.

The new platform, which was currently being piloted, and would be implemented early next year, he said would add the use of Mobile Money and direct bank debit to the available means of paying contributions.

He entreated employers to embrace the new and user-friendly platform for processing of Contribution Reports, payment of contributions and registration of new staff members on the SSNIT scheme.

The Director-General said the Employers’ Breakfast Meeting which started in 2019 would be organised every year to create a platform for SSNIT to interact with employers on pensions issues.

The Chief Executive Officer of the GEA, Alex Frimpong commended SSNIT for the programme which was meant to discuss the retirement income security of workers.

He entreated employers to pay the SSNIT contribution of their workers promptly and should wait for the Trust to take them to court before doing so.

Mr Frimpong indicated that the COVID-19 had impacted negatively on businesses and therefore, SSNIT must use a dialogue approach instead of court action to collect the debts owed them by employers.

The General Secretary of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union, Morgan Ayawine, for his part pledged ICU’s commitment to work closely with SSNIT to ensure the retirement income security of workers.

He entreated workers to take the issues of pensions seriously, since they would not work in perpetuity and would retire one day and would need pension to make ends meet.

Caption: Dr Ofori-Tenkorang (second left) with Mr Frimpong (firs left) and Mr Ayawine (second right) with other participants in the programme.


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