The Upper West regional executives of Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) Pensioners Association has commended the management of SSNIT for fulfilling their promise of providing income replacement to workers in the country.
The regional chairman, Mr. Fidelis Duolaara expressed his appreciation to the management of SSNIT for keeping hope of pensioners alive.
He said this when the Director-General, Dr. John Ofori-Tenkorang, visited them at their office in Wa as part of his tour of the SSNIT Offices in Wa and Lawra.
According to the chairman, they receive monthly pension on regular basis. “Every month, we receive our pension without delay. Though I, just like any other pensioner, desire to be receiving more than what I am receiving now, I know what I am being paid is a reflection of my basic salary when I was in active service” he confessed.
He urged management of the Trust to continuously improve the benefits of pensioners through the annual adjustments in their monthly pensions.
Mr. Duolaara indicated that retirement is something that everyone should look forward to with gladness. “But one needs to plan if you want to have a happy retirement” he advised.
In a country with over a million people above the age of 60 years, only about 190,000 receive monthly pension from SSNIT. This is beside those on the restricted CAP 30 and the Ghana Universities Superannuation Scheme. This has arisen because the pension scheme in the country is a contributory one. Workers connive with their employers not to contribute or self-employed who do not contribute deny themselves of their future pension.
The National Ageing Policy, ‘Ageing with Security and Dignity’ – July 2010, seeks to reduce poverty among the older persons. It is the right of every worker under international laws and the National Pensions Act, 2008, Act 766 to enjoy social security coverage. Strict adherence to these provisions will reduce the governments burden in extending the LEAP to thousands of older persons and that money channeled to other equally important social interventions. It is therefore important for workers to contribute to the basic pension scheme as a means of tackling old age poverty especially among workers in the informal sector.
The sexagenarian also commended the Wa SSNIT branch manager, Mr. Hansen Adjor and his staff for maintaining a cordial relationship between the Upper West Regional Pensioners Association and the office. He indicated that the current office accommodation they are using as a regional secretariat was provided at no cost to them by SSNIT. He however requested for a more spacious office fitted with air conditioners to make it more conducive for their administrative activities.
The Director- General who was accompanied by the Corporate Affairs Manager, Ms. Afua Sarkodie and the Tamale Area Manager, Mr. Jos Aris Bugre later addressed students of the University for Development Studies at the Wa campus on their rights to social security as the next generation of workers.