Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang, the Director-General (DG) of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), has described the SSNIT scheme as generous, contrary to public perception about it.
He said the scheme insured the basic salaries of workers and replaced part of the lost income of workers during old age or in the event of permanent disability.
He said even though workers contributed 11 per cent of their basic salaries to SSNIT, the scheme guaranteed them up to 60 per cent of the average of three years best salaries and pay them pension for life with annual increments.
He said about 66 per cent of workers declared their basic salaries of GH¢ 2,000 or less to the trust, adding that, pensions paid by SSNIT were only a reflection of the basic salaries workers declared.
Dr Ofori-Tenkorang said this in Bolgatanga when he addressed the leadership and members of the TUC about the scheme and the benefits it offered to members to enable them to plan effectively towards retirement.
The nationwide sensitization engagements, which had already been held in the Eastern, Volta, Greater Accra, Central, Western, Ashanti, Bono and Northern Regions, forms part of the trust’s efforts to improve public knowledge about its operations.
According to Dr Ofori-Tenkorang, the amount pensioners received was better than what they would have received if they had invested their contributions in 91-day treasury bills.
“For Pensioners who have been on the Pension Payroll for 15 years, they have received more than twice what they would have received from Treasury Bills,” the DG said.
He said members of the TUCshoud focus on the value the SSNIT Scheme offers and contribute on their correct salaries to enjoy enhanced pensions and reminded them that “The SSNIT scheme is opened to all workers in Ghana.
“All workers, including self-employed persons can join and contribute to the Scheme to enjoy pensions in the future,’ he said.
Dr Ofori-Tenkorang announced that SSNIT would roll out a comprehensive campaign to register self-employed persons and informal sector workers onto the Scheme this year.
Mr. Joshua Ansah, the Deputy Secretary General of the TUC, said: “This engagement has really taught us a very big lesson as workers and as Unions. We should now begin to do things that will enhance our minimum wages and salaries, so that we can contribute more to SSNIT for enhanced pensions on retirement.”
He advocated for enhanced minimum wages for workers in the country to enable them to earn better pensions when they retired, adding that, the increment in utilities as announced by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission would pose financial burdens on workers and insisted that TUC would not accept any salary increment below the inflation figure.
Mr. Matthew Abereniy Abeaba, the Regional Industrial Relations Officer for the Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) of the TUC, commended SSNIT for its continuous engagements with stakeholders.
He urged members of TEWU to continue to contribute, and even top up their contributions to SSNIT, so that they could reap the benefits when they retired.