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600,000 Self-employed enrolled on SSNIT pension scheme

Source The Ghana Report

Since the launch of the Self-Employed Enrolment Drive (SEED) initiative by the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), some 600,000 self-employed persons have been enrolled on the programme, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said.

He did not immediately mention the number that joined monthly but noted that, these self-employed persons were now having some form of social security cover.

The President announced this when he laid the State of the Nation Address (SONA) before Parliament in Accra on Tuesday.

“Mr Speaker, in speaking about the workspace and jobs, our thoughts invariably turn to young people and for some people, to the formal sector and informal sector jobs. We often forget that formal sector employees form only a small part of the working population.

This small percentage of the working population tends to be the ones that are covered by pension schemes and, unfortunately, the majority of workers in the country do not have any pensions,” he said.

The President said to that extent, in May last year, SSNIT SEED, an initiative which sought to improve coverage and increase the contributor base of the SSNIT Scheme, was implemented.

SEED implementation

The SSNIT has taken a significant step by expanding its basic social security scheme to include self-employed individuals who were previously not mandated by law to participate in the programme.

This new initiative, known as the SEED, aligns with SSNIT’s mission to extend pension coverage to all workers, including those who work for themselves.

The Director-General of SSNIT, Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang, has on various media platforms said that this initiative would not only redefine social security in the country but also offer self-employed individuals the prospect of retiring with dignity and financial security.

Currently, out of the estimated 10 million workers in the country, only approximately 1.9 million are covered under the SSNIT scheme.

Among the 1.9 million active SSNIT contributors, only a few were self-employed individuals, a development which was fast changing because of the aggressive campaign strategies deployed by the Trust with the aim of first making the people appreciate the value of the pension scheme as ran by SSNIT.

It has been made clear that the SSNIT scheme was not exclusive to formal sector employees but it was designed to benefit all workers in Ghana.

To increase awareness of SEED, a comprehensive 360-degree marketing communication campaign has been deployed and has yielded positive results with huge numbrs joining daily.

Pension payouts

Regarding the payment of pensions, President Akufo-Addo said: “Effective January 1, 2024, all pensioners on the SSNIT Pension Payroll as of December 31, 2023, have had their monthly pensions increased by 15 per cent.

That, he said, translated to a 10.05 per cent effective increase for the highest-earning pensioners, and a 36.37 per cent effective increase for the lowest-earning pensioners.

According to him, the 15 per cent indexation rate would result in an additional expenditure of GH¢697.64 million.

“The total benefit expenditure for the government, under the SSNIT scheme alone, is projected to have increased from GH¢5.446 billion in 2023 to GH¢7.034 billion in 2024,” he added.

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