Students at the various tertiary institutions across the country have been encouraged to register with the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) and contribute to the pension scheme.
This, is to ensure retirement income security; it will be of great value if you start your contributions early, Dr. John Ofori- Tenkorang, Director General of SSNIT has said.
“Appreciate how SSNIT can help you take control of your life before you reach age 60 when you are on pension”, he said.
Mr. Ofori-Tenkorang was speaking at a programme, organized by SSNIT in partnership with the University Students Association of Ghana (USAG) for students at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) in the Central Region.
The programme, dubbed “SSNIT Info Shop” afforded opportunity for the management and staff of SSNIT to interact with the students on why it is necessary for them to be contributors of the pension scheme.
It was also to provide opportunity for the students to register with scheme and be issued with SSNIT numbers to make them job ready when the offer comes.
Again, it is to help students to prepare, secure and take control of their lives before and beyond age 60 or in the event of permanent invalidity.
He pointed out that SSNIT is to ensure retirement income security for workers (that contribute to the scheme) and ensure that every worker who receives retirement benefits and related benefits as and when they come due.
“Everyone is exposed to the contingencies of old age, invalidity and death. It is therefore within this context that social security becomes necessary and that the scheme that we run, is set up to receive contribution from members as young as 15 years”, he said.
He explained that the scheme that is being run by SSNIT is governed by the National Pension Act, 2008 (Act 766) with its amendment (Act 883) has some benefits.
He pointed out that there is Old Age Pension; the qualifying conditions is that you must contribute for a minimum aggregate period of 15 years.
Another, he mentioned is on Invalidity Pension where the individual must have contributed for 12 months out of the 36 months, that is, one year out of the three years.
“With this, if any illness befalls you, SSNIT is going to pay you, the contributor monthly” he added.
“USAG and my team have come up with a list of interactive initiatives and activities to sustain the group some of which are; support a limited number of final year students who pursue research topic on social security retirement planning and its related areas, look out for the launch of the SSNIT minute on campus radio soon among others” he added.
Mr. Albert Oppong Kesse, President of USAG explained that the main focus of the association is to advocate for the interest of students.
In view of this, he said USAG wrote to SSNIT to educate the university students on their services to enable them know that it is not only for pensioners and also to secure our future.
He expressed hope that within the next three years, SSNIT would have visited all the tertiary institutions across the country on the need for students to register with the scheme.