Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister, has reiterated that the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) is a reliable entity to help people enjoy their pensions in the future.
She observed that SSNIT has over the years been perceived to be for formal sector workers and with a perception that SSNIT pensions were low, SSNIT became unattractive, particularly to many people running their businesses.
The Regional minister made the statement at this year’s an annual launch of the SSNIT Mobile Service Week in Sunyani under the theme: “Choose your tomorrow; Sign up for SEED from SSNIT today.”
She commended management of SSNIT for their approach and quest to explain issues surrounding pensions to the self-employed workers and informal sector association at their doorsteps by encouraging them to pay contributions to be able to retire for a noble future and have control of their financial wellbeing.
Madam Owusu- Banahene encouraged the self-employed in the region to register in their numbers for the scheme and gave an example of young man from the Region, who has been receiving a monthly pension since age 29, because he was been certified by medical doctors as unfit to work again and because of SSNIT he would be able to finance his medical bills and livelihood with sound financial assistance for the rest of his life.
The issues of pensions the minister said must be taken seriously by all since retirement and old age is not far as perceived.
Dr. John Ofori–Tenkoran, the Director-General of SSNIT, in an interview with the Media after the launch entreated all SSNIT contributors to constantly check their statement of account mail to them quarterly for immediate rectifications to prevent any future situation.
He said contributors, who do not receive their statement, could enter the SSNIT office in their area and request for it, adding that because they did not have more staff to be moving from offices the statement was very important to check if anything was falling short and draw the attention of the officers for necessary action to be taken.
Dr. Ofori-Tenkorang emphasized that the SSNIT Mobile Service (SMS) Week provided SSNIT branches the opportunity to pitch camp at various locations across the country to bring the services of the Trust to the doorsteps of its Members and Clients.
This year, a total of 74 vantage locations have been selected across the 16 regions of the country to provide services to Members and Clients, including issuance of Statements of Account, registration of employers and workers, particularly, self-employed persons, benefits processing initiation, renewal of Pensioner Certificates, merging of SSNIT and Ghana Card numbers, he added.
He mentioned that about 60 per cent of the 3.2 million workers in the formal sector were covered under the SSNIT, adding that out of 6.7 million self–employed workers in Ghana, about 3.1 million were between 15 and 45 years, making them eligible to enroll on the scheme but only 57, 000, representing 1.8 percent were covered by the scheme.