- Saves GH₵130m after payroll clean-up
- 11,000 non-existent pensioners deleted
The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has saved GH₵200million in legacy investment-related costs after undertaking value-for-money audits and ensuing renegotiations, Director-General of SSNIT, Dr. John Ofori-Tenkorang has said.
According to him, the exercise came on the back of efforts to “turn administration of the Scheme around; and the Trust’s public image as well as the public’s understanding of matters related to Social Security have improved considerably”.
To further ensure long-term sustainability for the Scheme, he disclosed that the pensions’ payroll clean-up has yielded savings of over GH¢130million with the deletion of over 11,000 non-existent pensioners since they began this exercise about 3 years ago.
“These cost-saving measures are necessary in creating the financial space for us to not only meet our monthly pension obligations, but also get investable funds to deploy into our economy. And talking about discharging our monthly pension obligations, we continue to improve our processes to serve pensioners better.”
Dr. Ofori-Tenkorang was speaking at the inauguration of Osei Tutu II Housing Estate at Asokore Mampong, and said the time it takes to process and pay pensions for new retirees has reduced. This is from over eight weeks in 2016, to just about two weeks in 2020; and “we continue to increase pensions annually for pensioners as long as they live,” he added.
He said the Trust has started sending electronic ‘Statements of Account’ to contributors for the first time in SSNIT’s history. Additionally, contributors have also been given the facility to reliably check their statements online, so that any distortions or challenges can be identified and rectified well before retirement.
While commending government for the support and interest in promoting and enhancing pensions for all workers, he also acknowledged the commitment made to retire indebtedness to the Scheme.
Presently, the Trust receives half a billion Ghana cedis from government every quarter toward clearing contribution arrears. During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the additional payment of GH₵700million by the Minister for Finance to SSNIT ensured it did not delay or miss a single pension payment to any pensioner during this challenging period.
On recent concerns raised by sections of Organised Labour regarding the benefits paid to retiring workers during this year of transition to full implementation of Act 766, he said an alternative was found to resolve issues amicably without SSNIT breaching the Pensions Act or pensioners feeling short-changed.
“Perhaps, it is by providence that the transition from PNDCL 247 to ACT 766 was postponed from 2015 to 2020, because your intervention and sense of prudence has calmed the storm and ensured industrial peace.”
He noted that the joint committee comprising government and Labour set up to resolve all issues pertaining to lump-sums, of which Past Credit is part, and other related matters has successfully been inaugurated.