SSNIT pays over GH¢546m to pensioners in two months

The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has paid GH¢546.47million to pensioners under the Trust, for the first two months of the year.

The Trust in January 2022 paid GH¢272.84million to 225,931 pensioners and GH¢273.63million to 226,791 retirees in February 2022.

With an active membership of 1.7 million, the highest pension earner currently receives GH¢142,564 per month while the lowest-earning pensioner gets GH¢300.

The Director-General of SSNIT, Dr. Ofori-Tenkorang, observed that these monies paid to pensioners ensure relatively decent livelihoods for them as a result of the contributions they paid and the intergenerational support the current working population provides through their contributions.

However, he acknowledged that despite all these inherent benefits there are still myths and wrong perceptions about the scheme.

This, he said, stems from a general lack of understanding about social security, the laws governing it and the value it adds to lives.

It is against this background that SSNIT is keen on strengthening public education on the SSNIT pension scheme, and has therefore introduced Supplementary Readers on Social Security for senior high school students.

According to Dr. Ofori-Tenkorang, the move will offer students a roadmap and a preview into their work journey, and equip them with the right tools to plan.

He said: “Perhaps if we all had the benefit of being introduced to the subject matter of social protection right from the onset, then there would be more than 1.7 million workers covered out of a potential working population of 11 million or so”.

Furthermore, he said, SSNIT will embark on a campaign to enrol self-employed persons onto the Scheme.

“This is because we firmly believe that every worker in Ghana should be protected and have access to the great benefits,” the Director-General of SSNIT stated, during the initiative’s launch in Kumasi.

The Supplementary Readers on Social Security’s introduction is being done in partnership with the Ghana Education Service (GES), with support from the National Council for Curriculum Assessment (NaCCA) and the Ministry of Education.

The Minister of Education, Yaw Osei Adutwum, observed that SSNIT has since its establishment played an important role in educating the youth. This has been through the provision of schools, hostels and funding for tertiary education through the Students Loan Scheme.

He said: “We must appreciate the efforts made by SSNIT and the support it has provided to various sectors of the economy; but most importantly, the provision of regular monthly pension to the about 227,000 pensioners”.

However, he bemoaned the low enrolment despite the important role social security plays. “Unfortunately, many workers in this country do not understand the importance of having a functional pension system and the impact it has on lives – especially in old age and with incapacitation,” he added.

He reiterated that this lack of understanding has resulted in the low membership number and many cases of non-compliance seen at the courts.

Given this, the minister said, having social security content included in various subject areas of the senior high school curriculum will help solve this lack of understanding and appreciation of the first-tier scheme.

He added that having social security content incorporated into the school curriculum will create the needed awareness on the National Basic Social Security Scheme, and inculcate into the young ones the role social protection scheme plays.

He envisaged that with the knowledge acquired, they will in the future, insist on their rights to social security as workers or discharge their responsibilities as employers – as well as provide guidance to their parents who may have little or no knowledge about the SSNIT Scheme.

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