Editorial: Serious concern about informal sector workers’ financial security


A mere 0.5 percent of the informal sector’s active workforce is currently enrolled in the tier-one scheme, statistics from the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) have revealed.

This raises serious concerns about the majority of informal sector workers’ financial security in the country.

Out of approximately 600,000 individuals working within the informal sector who have some form of pension coverage, only a fraction has enrolled in the crucial tier-one programme.

Given that an estimated 6.1 million Ghanaians work in the informal sector, and about half of them fall within the age range of 15 to 45 – the eligible age for SSNIT enrollment, this presents a significant gap.

Roughly 3.2 million eligible workers have not yet taken advantage of the scheme, leaving them without a financial safety net for their retirement years.

Dr. John Ofori-Tenkorang, Director General-SSNIT, made the disclosure during a forum held at Tamale in the Northern Region. He emphasised the urgency of addressing this issue, stating: “In the next few years, we are targetting about 60 percent of the vibrant youth working in the informal sector to be covered under the SSNIT scheme”.

There has been a misconception that the SSNIT scheme primarily caters to government sector workers.

This misconception has deterred many from enrolling: particularly in the Northern Region, where the engagement process has faced difficulties due to concerns about small financial institutions absconding with informal sector investments.

Dr. Tenkorang pointed out that this misperception is hindering individuals from making investments and securing their future.

To address these challenges and encourage enrollment, SSNIT has embraced digitalisation through the development of various strategies for contributors to make payments conveniently and securely without any need for intermediaries.

Additionally, SSNIT now sends contributors quarterly statements to help them monitor their contributions.

Furthermore, SSNIT has established efficient means of remitting money – eliminating the need for beneficiaries to visit their offices.

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