A large number of Ghanaians above retirement age (60 years and above) lived in poverty, a researcher told Xinhua here on Tuesday.
Lesley Dwight Mensah, an economist at the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS), a local economic policy think tank explained to Xinhua that the reason for this condition was the lack of monthly pension payment for most people after the end of their service.
“Only about 14 percent of Ghanaians in retirement age (population of 60 and above) receive a pension. As of the end of 2018, there were 1.9 million people in Ghana aged 60; and just about 270,000 of them were receiving pensions,” he indicated.
Dwight-Mensah was speaking in an interview on the sides of the one-day national pensions dialogue organized by IFS to disseminate their research findings on the sustainability and coverage of Ghana’s pension schemes.
While 200,000 were under the statutory Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) pension system, 70,000 were taking a pension from the consolidated fund.
The economist lamented that this situation had made many aged people helpless, leading to depression and other health issues.
The situation mirrored the coverage of pension contribution of the working population in the country, added Dwight-Mensah.
According to him, just about 12 percent of Ghanaian workers made pension contributions either under the SSNIT system; or were under the public sector’s non-contributing scheme.
While 100 percent of public sector workers made their pension contributions, less than seven percent in the private and informal sectors did the same.
“So the flip side is that 88 percent of Ghanaian workers are not under any pension scheme, and this has been so for more than a decade,” he added.
On his part, Deputy Minister for Employment and Labor Relations Bright Wireko-Brobby underscored the need for a national dialogue on wages in the country.
“As a country, we need to take a general look at our salary structures. Let us look at that discussion and the larger picture and see how much the worker takes home. That is what will reflect on the pension people receive at the end of their service.” Enditem