Prime News Ghana

SSNIT calls for review of contribution rate

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
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The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) is calling for a review of the contribution rate of workers to enable it to sustain the pension scheme and to pay workers higher pensions.

Currently, the contribution rate is 13 percent of basic salary but SSNIT wants it reviewed to 19.2 percent.

At the Volta Regional forum in Ho to discuss issues related to pensions, benefit computation, among others, the Director-General of SSNIT, Dr. John Ofori-Tenkorang, said there was the need for a discussion on what the correct funding rate should be for the scheme.

The forum was organised by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in collaboration with SSNIT. Participants were taken through practical details of how to estimate their pensions.

Dr. Ofori-Tenkorang said the benefits that pensioners received as compared to the contributions they make showed that there was a chance that SSNIT might not be able to meet its obligations in the future especially when more and more pensioners come on board.

“We have had external actuaries who come and look at our scheme every three years and some of their suggestions they have been making is that we should come up with an appropriate funding rate to sustain the scheme,” he said.

The time, he said, had come for the country to build a robust and sustainable scheme that would still be there for generations to come.

Pension scheme: "You get what you put in SSNIT"– Dr. Tenkorang

The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has attributed the low benefits some pensioners in the country receive while on retirement to the failure of some employers or even employees not contributing enough while in active service.

According to its Managing Director, Dr. John Ofori Tenkorang the current situation is not a deliberate attempt by the Trust to deprive pensioners what is due them.

There have been concerns that most pensioners are unable to live decent lives because the pension benefits provided them by the state institution is woefully inadequate.

Speaking on Citi TV on Wednesday, Dr. Tenkorang bemoaned the development noting that the surest way to address these challenges is for contributors to be true to themselves and make the right payments to avert these circumstances.

“I am not surprised. People always feel that they do not have enough money when they go on a pension. But, you get what you put in the SSNIT scheme. Pensions are only a reflection of salaries. Our laws that govern our pensions say that, take the number of months that persons have contributed, the more months they contribute, the higher the percentage of their qualifying salaries they will get paid on. So depending on how much you put in terms of contribution, that is what your pensions will reflect.”

“People pay pensions on their basic salaries because there is a narrative out there that if you give your money to SSNIT, you are throwing your money away. If you don’t pay and you are found, SSNIT will come and haul you before a court so let me pay something to them to keep them at bay. This is affecting people when they go on pension”, he added.