The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has encouraged businesses and operators in the informal sector to sign up for the scheme for a better future.SSNIT says self-employed people need to take a keen interest in pension issues for a guaranteed monthly pension after retirement. According to SSNIT, about 85% of Ghana’s economy is informal, consisting of 6.7 million self-employed persons from a total work population of 9.9 million.Data from SSNIT also shows that 34,376 (1.824%) of its active subscribers are self-employed. The private sector constituted the majority with 1,171,273 (62.142%). Public sector contributors stand at 679,190, representing 36.034%.
A total of 1,905,246 self- and formal-sector contributors in Ghana as of April 2023 are currently on the scheme. Over 360 million cedis are paid monthly as pensions.
It is said that, of this number, 11% of pensioners receiving monthly pensions are elderly. The number of salaried workers who earn GHC5,000 or less monthly constitutes 92.5%.Data further reveals that over 24,000 pensioners are on the SSNIT payroll, the majority of whom are employees or salary workers.Over 1,000 SSNIT contributors have been declared medically invalid and are receiving monthly pensions, though they cannot work because of their conditions.
The scheme observes that the number of SSNIT contributors over 70 keeps increasing annually.
The highest-earning pensioner among the 10 in Ghana takes home GHC 169,725.89, while the lowest takes GHC 430.58.
At a day-long engagement with journalists from the northern and upper east regions in Tamale on the Self-Employed Drive (SEED) initiative, Public Affairs Manager at SSNIT, Charles Akwei Garshong, explained that the scheme was established to provide pensions for all workers, not a cross-section of Ghanaians.
Delays in payment
On the delays in monthly pensions, Mr. Garshong explained that SSNIT continues to pay pensions every third Thursday of each month and attributed the challenges pensioners faced to the banks. He explained further that pensioner associations are notified through a calendar published in the dailies.
Investment and concerns by contributors
Since the establishment of SSNIT, it has made investments in different areas, including flats for its staff.
But some of their investments have been criticized and tagged as wrong investments. SSNIT, the media relations officer maintains, is an insurance organization and does not engage in business to make a profit.
“We insured against old age, invalidity, and death; any investments we made were to improve the sustainability of SSNIT, not for profit”, Mr. Garshong explained.
Self-employed contributors to the SEED initiative can contribute from the comfort of their homes through the *711*9# mobile service platform, which has been exempted by the Electronic Transfer Levy (e-levy).
Source; Mohammed Ibrahim, Head of ZaaNews