SOCIAL SECURITY AND NATIONAL INSURANCE TRUST
History Of SSNIT

SOCIAL SECURITY IN GHANA

1965 – 2015

SSNIT History ƒ-1

Introduction

While Social Security in Europe was a direct consequence of the Industrial Revolution, in Ghana and many other African countries, it was the result of a combination of factors such as colonization, industrialisation and urbanization.

Colonisation and the introduction of new methods of work transformed the traditional structures and working conditions resulting in the development of paid employment in the urban areas. The Ghanaian wage-earner and his family were uprooted from their traditional environment and exposed to social contingencies similar to those which prevailed in the industrialized countries with the advent of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th Century.

Pre-Independence Social Security

Prior to the establishment of a Social Security Scheme in Ghana in 1965, private schemes had been established to develop for the urban wage-earners – a rudimentary system of material security.

Before Ghana’s independence, there was neither a national nor a uniform Social Security Scheme in the country. There were public and private schemes which catered for the security of various categories of workers. For example, in 1940, the adoption by the country of the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Convention on Workers, made cash benefits payable to workers who suffered work injury.

By the Pension Ordinance of 1946, a non-contributory Pension Scheme was established for workers categorized as African Senior Civil Servants which extended in a limited extent to their widows and orphans.

In 1955, by the Teachers’ Pension Ordinance, certified teachers were made coverable under the Ordinance of 1946. The senior members or lecturing staff of the country’s premier University – then the University of the Gold Coast – also had a Private Superannuation Scheme.

Meanwhile, some organisations in the private sector, especially the major foreign trading and commercial firms were operating Superannuation, Pension and Provident Fund Schemes under which benefits were paid out at the time of retirement of their African Senior employees.

Further, ex-gratia awards were available for some workers who were not coverable under any of the above-named Schemes. These Schemes also had limited contingencies.

Post Independence Social Security

On attaining independence in 1957, Ghana embarked upon an intensive industrial and educational programme. The net result was a large influx of people to the cities and urban areas in search of white-collar jobs.

The social, economic and political challenges created by the rural-urban migration were unimaginable. The worker who had been alienated from his roots and thus stripped of the security offered by the traditional extended family system faced a grim future – that of insecurity. To address this unsatisfactory situation, the Government of the First Republic instituted the Compulsory Savings Scheme and later, the Social Security Scheme.

Compulsory Savings Scheme

The Compulsory Savings Scheme came into being in the early 1960s. Under the Scheme, compulsory deductions were made from the wages and salaries of all workers and paid into Government chest with the promise to workers that the savings would be paid back to them with interest.

Due to lack of education on the Scheme, many workers developed an apathy to it. This attitude was made worse by the inefficient system for refund under which many workers failed eventually to withdraw their savings. In 1965, this scheme was abolished.

Ghana on the Eve of Social Security Act

In retrospect therefore, the Compulsory Saving Scheme was a major first step in the development of Social Security in Ghana and its effect on the Social Security Scheme cannot be ignored. As far as the psychological profile of contributors was concerned, the effect was devastating.

The history of Ghana’s Social Security Scheme dates back to the appointment of the Asare Committee. The then Managing Director of the Ghana Commercial Bank, Mr. T.O. Asare in 1960 was tasked to look into the possibility of establishing a National Pension and Insurance Scheme for workers. The Committee was assisted later by an International Labour Organisation (ILO) expert on Social Security matters, Mr. A. Zelenka.

The President of the First Republic, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, while opening the Trade Union Hall in Accra in 1960, announced that “Government was giving consideration to the possibility of establishing a National Pensions and Insurance Fund to manage the Pension and Provident Fund of all workers irrespective of their employers.” This showed the Government’s willingness to introduce Social Security In Ghana.

On 17th February, 1965 the Parliament of the First Republic passed a Bill known as The Social Security Act, 1965, Act 279 to establish a Social Security Fund to provide for contributors, benefits under Superannuation, Invalidity, Survivors, among others.

The country thus witnessed a landmark improvement in the life of workers in the country. For the first time, a Social Security Scheme of national dimension was provided for workers.

What is Social Security?

“Social Security may be defined as any programme of social protection established by legislation, or any other mandatory arrangement, that provides individuals with a degree of income security when faced with the contingencies of old age, survivorship, incapacity, disability, unemployment or rearing children” – (ISSA definition).

Early Administration

During the early years of the Fund, the administration was under a Department of Pensions and National Insurance. However, the functions were split and assigned to two bodies. The State Insurance Corporation (SIC) supervised the Inspectorate and Operational Divisions while the Department of Pensions under the Ministry of Finance was in charge of Policy and General Administration. Mr. C.K.F. Adapoe was the first Chief Administrator of the Social Security Fund Administration. Mr. C.K.F. Adapoe was assisted in the day-to-day administration by an initial staff numbering 37 in 1965.

 

SOCIAL SECURITY SCHEME OF 1965

The Social Security Scheme of 1965 was a Provident Fund (PF) Scheme under which lump sums were paid to qualified members. Contribution to the scheme was at the rate of 7.5% by the worker and 15% by the employer from 25th May, 1965 to July 31, 1966. From 1st August, 1966, the contribution rates were reduced to 5% and 12.5% by the worker and employer respectively, after an outcry of high contribution rates.

The Scheme was intended to operate as a Provident Fund for a five-year period (1965 to 1970) and thereafter be converted into a Pension Scheme for periodic monthly payments.

The Provident Fund system was very popular with the workers because inflation was very low. Successive governments also found the Fund a ready source of capital for budget deficit financing. So acceptable was the Provident Fund system that even in 1972 when the NRCD 127 was passed, it only established a Body Corporate i.e. the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to administer the Fund which was hitherto managed by the State Insurance Corporation (SIC) a government commercial insurance institution.

The Provident Fund was therefore, continued by this Decree and no consideration was given to its conversion to a Pension Scheme until the late 1980’s when real value of benefits were obviously eroded by the considerably high rate of inflation, that the issue was seriously taken up.

Key Features of the Scheme – (1965 – 1972) Contingencies

• Sickness Benefit – when the member is unable to earn an income due to sickness.

• Emigration Benefit – when the worker emigrates permanently from Ghana.

• Survivors and Life Insurance Benefit – paid to the nominees of a deceased member.

• Invalidity Benefit – when a member of the fund is rendered permanently incapacitated or mental disability to be incapable of gainful employment.

• Superannuation Benefit – This is the old age benefit paid on the retirement of a worker. The retirement age was 60 for men and 55 for women. However, the Social Security Decree, 1972 reduced it to 55 for men and 50 for women.

A member was qualified for Interim Superannuation Benefit at age 50 and 45 for men and women respectively. Terminal benefits were paid at the point of disengagement at ages 55 and 50 for men and women respectively.

• Unemployment Benefit – when a member became unemployed.

All the six (6) Benefits were lump sum payments.

About 90,000 members received various types of Benefits between 1965 to 1971.

zagloul-house-before-after

 

BIRTH OF SSNIT

Prior to 1972, the Social Security Scheme was administered jointly by the then Department of Pensions and the State Insurance Corporation.

In November 1972, the NRC Degree 127 established a corporate body – the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) as an autonomous body to administer the Social Security Scheme.

For the first time, the SSNIT had an organizational structure with a tripartite Board of Directors representing – Government, Employers and Workers.

Scope of Coverage

The NRCD 127 of 1972 provided for compulsory coverage for workers in establishments employing more than five.

(5) workers including the self-employed. Thus, coverage was initially very limited. This limitation was due to the fact that establishments having less than five workers were not considered to be fully established.

Effectively, the scheme covered the non-pensionable officers in the Civil Service, workers in the emerging para- statals, multinational corporations and a few established private companies.

Rate of Contributions

The contribution rates under NRCD 127 were maintained at 5% for the worker and 12.5% for the employer, which totaled 17.5% of the monthly basic salary of the worker. Out of this total contribution, 2% was set aside for Life Insurance and Unemployment. In effect, only 15.5% stood in the member’s account.

The following classes of workers were exempted from membership of the scheme:

• Members of the Armed Forces

• Members of the Police Service

• Members of the Prison Service

• Members of the National Fire service

• Foreigners in the Diplomatic Missions

• Senior members of the Universities and Research Institutes.

Contingencies under NRCD 127 Invalidity Benefit

Those who lost earning capacities as a result of being totally incapacitated.

Emigration Benefit

The Aliens Compliance Order of (1969/70) threw this benefit out of gear.

Full-blooded Ghanaians swore Oaths of Affidavits that they were aliens so as to receive their benefits.

Death/Survivors Benefit

Payments under the Death/Survivors Benefit seem to be rising with the growth in membership.

Sickness Benefit

The Trust’s Regulations were so rigid that only a very small number of sick people could take advantage of it. More so, most Bargaining Agreement guaranteed full pay for sick workers for some time and as a result, such workers could not qualify for the Trust’s Sickness Benefit.

Unemployment Benefit

Another difficult benefit as regards the mode of qualification was the unemployment benefit. It was meant to alleviate temporary hardship of workers in the event of becoming unemployed whilst they were members of the fund.

Superannuation Benefit

Old Age Benefit for retired members – 60 for men and 55 years for women.

Thus, the Provident Fund which should have been converted into a Pension Scheme in 1970 continued under NRCD 127 till 1991.

 

Nota Bene

The Sickness and the Unemployment Benefits became very unpopular due to the stringent conditions attached and the paltry sums paid out.

From 1965 when provisions were made for the Sickness Benefit, only eight (8) claims involving a total amount of ¢381.30 was recorded. The total amount paid as Unemployment Benefit for the eighteen (18) years it existed was ¢1,200.03 in respect of forty (40) beneficiaries.

 

THE SSNIT STUDENTS LOAN SCHEME

The Government of Ghana since independence made several attempts to establish a students loan scheme which were invariably plaqued with various challenges.

Thus, the establishment of the Students Loan Scheme in January 1988 gave the Social Security and National Insurance Trust the mandate to manage the scheme on behalf of the Government of Ghana. The Students Loan Scheme, PNDC Law 276 was promulgated in 1992.

To guarantee the repayment of the Students Loan, loan beneficiaries were required to produce three (3) guarantors who were members of the Social Security Scheme and must have contributed for more than five (5) years.

The Scheme to all intent and purpose was a temporary measure by Government to address a need, that is, tertiary education funding. It is important to remember that SSNIT’s core business was to register workers

to join the Social Security Scheme, keep their records, invest the contributions and pay benefits. As at the end of the actual loan disbursement period of January 2013, 595,024 students have benefited from a loan of GH¢129,296,791.00 which no doubt assisted them defray personal and academic expenses during their tertiary education. Though the Students Loan Scheme Law was passed in 1992, it started operations in 1988, and it was solely managed by SSNIT.

 

Students Loan Disbursement and Repayment

The first installment in 1988 was by cash which was paid directly to the students on their various campuses. The second and subsequent disbursements were however made through the beneficiaries’ bank accounts.

SSNIT in its quest to reduce claim processing time and also to reduce the number of student loans beneficiary indebtedness to serve its contributors better, decided in 2013 to use the Social Security contributions to repay outstanding loan balances. The recovery of the loan balances will no doubt enable the Trust invest the recovered fund to sustain the scheme.

The repayment categories included:

• Students loan beneficiaries who had not made any repayments after completion of their course of study, but were contributing to the scheme.

• Beneficiaries who had made partial repayments after completing their course of study but still have outstanding balances on their loans and were also contributing to the scheme.

• Those who had not made any repayment and have no contributions after completing their course of study, and.

• The final group were those who had not fully repaid their loans ten (10) years after completing their course of study.

 

Benefits of the Repayment

In implementing this exercise, the guarantors and their corresponding beneficiaries were discharged or released of their indebtedness.

Without this exercise, the guarantors and their corresponding beneficiaries would have to go through a process of clearance from the Students Loan Scheme before any SSNIT benefit claim could successfully be received, vetted and processed.

 

CONVERSION FROM PF TO PENSION SCHEME

Main reasons for the Change

The rapid expansion of the Social Security Fund to bring benefits to meet the social needs of workers was one of the major impetus that pushed for the transformation of the NRCD 127 into the PNDC Law 247 of 1991.

From 1965 – 1987 when the interest rate moved steadily upwards due to inflation, the Social Security Fund had been mandatorily held in Government Bonds at an interest rate of 6%. The organisation was required to use 3% of the 6% to meet administrative expenses and the other 3% as interest on members’ accounts. The 6% interest rate payable on the corpus of the fund did not change for over 20 years period though several adjustments were recorded in interest rates, both in the banking sector and in Government stocks.

But because these adjustments though indicative of the inflationary trends on the economic scene, did not reflect on the rates payable, interest on workers’ contribution also remained at 3% over the period. For instance, the average benefits paid amounted to a lump sum of ¢11,000.00 in 1986, ¢28,000.00 in 1989 and ¢60,000.00 in 1990. These payments represented an average of two (2) months salary at the time, which were grossly inadequate in terms of the real cost of living in the country.

 

Average Amount of Benefit of Each Type

By 1990, the Trust was paying an average of:

i. ¢59,964.50 as Superannuation or Old-Age Benefit.

ii. ¢59,486.66 as Death and Survivors Benefit.

iii. ¢52,601.12 as Invalidity Benefit.

iv. ¢66,507.80 as Emigration Benefit.

(Source: Conversion of Provident Funds into Social Insurance Schemes – Henry Dei.)

These payments although increasing in magnitude, were decreasing in real value over the years.

 

Amount of Reserves Available for Investment

The Trust had as at the end of 1990, ¢60.83 billion as a reserve available for investment.

Thus, the erosion of the value of incomes paid to most retirees in the 1980’s served as a catalyst to initiate a plan of action for the conversion.

 

PNDC LAW 247 OF 1991

For the conversion to be meaningful and to be all encompassing, there was massive public education on the review proposals by all the identifiable bodies – Trades Union Congress and all the affiliated Unions, Civil Servants’ Association, Ghana Registered Nurses’ Association, Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Employers’ Association, Committee for the Defence of the Revolution (CDR), Government, Media and other Opinion Leaders. Public Education Committees were formed on the National, Regional and District levels to handle talks on the Pension Scheme. Workshops, Press briefing, adverts, television and radio discussions were the other measures undertaken to educate the public on the Pension Scheme.

After the review of the proposals and legal drafting, the PNDC Law 247 was promulgated in 1991 during the tenure of Mr. Henry G. Dei, the then Director General of SSNIT. The conversion marked a great significant landmark in the history of Social Security Scheme in Ghana.

The core mandate of the Trust is to:

1. Register employers and workers

2. Collect contributions

3. Manage the records of members

4. Invest the funds of the Scheme

5. Process and pay benefits to eligible members and declared dependants.

 

Changes in Administrative Organisation

Administering the Social Insurance Scheme entails a greater workload, efficiency at all levels of operations and higher professional competence. To cope with these, the Trust revamped its skilled personnel.

The organizational structure was modified along three (3) functional areas of Operations, Administration and Finance. These were all headed by General Managers who reported to the Director General.

Committees were also set up to review and closely monitor progress in their respective areas of concern. These were set up as sub-committees of the previously existing Management Committee and were in charge of Operations, Finance, Tender, Investment and Staff Welfare.

New reporting systems were instituted to help appraise the performance of the various sectors of the Trust especially, in the areas of the payment of contributions (Inspectorate) and the processing and payment of pensions (Claims) which together formed part of the operational wing of the Trust.

Appropriate steps were also taken to complete the computerization of the Scheme by the installation of Personal Computers (PC) in all the Regional and District Offices.

The need for sound investment and prompt payment of pensions also necessitated the formation of the Investment and Claims Departments.

By converting the Provident Fund into a Pension Scheme, Ghana became a member of the International Social Security Association (ISSA). ISSA is the world’s leading international organisation that brings together national social security administrations and agencies and provides information, expert advice, research and platforms for members to build and promote dynamic social security systems and policy worldwide. And for the first time the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SSNIT called the Chief Administrator became the Director General in tandem with ISSA regulations.

At the point of the conversion in 1991, there were approximately 12,000 active employers and 820,000 workers belonging to the scheme. The conversion gave the change to workers in the informal sector to join the Scheme as voluntary contributors. Also, provisions of the Law exempted men and officers of the Ghana Armed Forces and other security agencies by virtue of their work.

 

Key Features of PNDC Law 247

The highlights of the new Pension Scheme include:

• Provision of three (3) benefits – Old Age Pension, Invalidity Pension and Death and Survivors Lump Sum benefit.

• Pensions are paid monthly to qualified members.

• It was financed through employer and employee contributions of 12.5% and 5% of basic salaries respectively. The resultant 17.5% is paid solely to SSNIT.

• Full pension is earned at age 60 with a minimum contribution of 240 months.

• Reduced Pension is earned between 55 and 59 years with a minimum contribution of 240 months.

• A 25% Lump sum Payment Option was available for both Full and Reduced Pension. This is paid at the present value discounted at the prevailing Treasury Bill rate.

• Invalidity Pension is earned after 12 months contribution within the last 36 months and must be declared permanently invalid by a recognized medical officer and certified by a Medical Board.

• Survivors’ Lump Sum was paid to a member who dies before retirement or when a member dies while a pensioner before attaining age 72.

• Minimum accrual rate was 50% and the maximum was 80% of three best years average salary.

• A return of contributions accumulated at a prescribed interest rate is given to unqualified contributors.

• Pensions are indexed or reviewed annually.

• Under the Transitional Provision of PNDCL 247, a member who had already collected his Interim Benefit under the Social Security Decree 1972 (NRCD 127) and is still in employment had the option to repay the amount collected together with six (6) per cent interest and continue to contribute till he reaches the retiring age and be eligible for pension.

After operating for about fifteen (15) years as a Pension Scheme, workers especially the non-pensionable officers in the Civil Service started comparing their retirement benefits with the pensionable officers under the CAP 30 of the 1946 Pension Ordinance – a non-contributory Pension Scheme and agitated for a change.

 

ONSET OF ACT 766

A Presidential Commission chaired by Mr. T.A. Bediako and inaugurated by His Excellency Mr. John A. Kuffuor on 4th August, 2004 was therefore setup in response to the agitations and protests against the inadequacy of the SSNIT Pension Scheme and called for their placement on the CAP 30 Pension Scheme.

 

The Bediako Commission

The overall objective of the Bediako Commission was to come up with recommendations for a pension scheme(s) that would ensure retirement income security for all Ghanaian workers with special reference to the public sector. The Commission used a participatory approach involving all stakeholders and held public fora in all the ten (10) regions.

To ensure retirement income security for all workers in Ghana, the Bediako Commission recommended a three-tier pension structure – comprising two mandatory schemes and a voluntary scheme.

 

National Pensions Act (Act 766)

Government accepted almost all the Bediako Commission recommendations in the report and issued a White Paper in July, 2006 (W.P.No. 1/2006).

In order to implement the new pension system, an 8-member Pension Reform Implementation Committee and a Consultant was established in October 2006.

A Bill was passed by Parliament on 29th October, 2009 and received Presidential assent on 4th December, 2008. Subsequently, a new Pensions Law, the National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766) was promulgated in December 12, 2008 and was formally launched by His Excellency, Prof. J.E.A. Mills on 16th September, 2009. The implementation date for the new National Pensions Act with the new contribution rates commenced in January 2010.

 

Features of Act 766

• Mandatory for all workers in the formal sector and optional for self-employed.

• Tier 1 – A mandatory basic contributory social security scheme managed by SSNIT.

• Tier 2 – A mandatory fully-funded and privately managed occupational scheme.

• Tier 3 – A voluntary fully-funded and privately managed provident fund and personal pension plan.

• Contribution Rates –

-Employer-13.0%

-Worker-5.5%

-Total-18.5%

• Out of the 18.5%, the employer remits 13.5% within 14 days after the end of each month to SSNIT.

• Subsequently, SSNIT also remits 2.5% out of the 13.5% to NHIA for the members Health Insurance.

• Governing body of the Trust is a Board of Trustees with balanced representation of stakeholders.

• Entry Age – 15 years (minimum) and 45 years (maximum) only for new entrants (age 45+ to enter mandatory 2nd tier).

• Age Exemption – 55 years and above exempted (option to join)

• Minimum and Maximum contributions indicated.

• Investment of Funds – investment policy, permitted external investments.

• Benefits and Qualifying Conditions

• Three (3) Benefits

– Superannuation Pension

– Invalidity Pension

– Survivors Lump Sum

• Qualifying period reduced from 20 to 15 years

– Guaranteed Survivors benefits payment period increased from 12 to 15 years.

– Increase in guaranteed pension payment period from 12 to 15 years.

• Hazardous employment benefit – underground miner to retire at age 55 with full retirement benefit.

– Must be between 50 and 60 years to benefit.

• It is a Defined Benefit

• Return of contributions plus interest when one does not qualify for any of the two (2) benefits.

• Established a Regulator the National Pensions Regulatory Authority – NPRA.

 

Contribution Payment

In accordance with the Transitional Guidelines and Directives issued by the NPRA under the National Pensions Act 2008, SSNIT was to collect its own Tier 1 contributions and the 5% of the Tier 2 on behalf of the NPRA temporarily. In making the payments, employers were expected to pay the contributions under Tiers 1 and 2 with separate cheques supported by separate contribution reports. The 5% contributions for Tier 2 is immediately transferred into an escrow account at the Bank of Ghana on behalf of the NPRA. This was to continue till the custodians, fund managers, etc. are established by the NPRA.

 

NEW BUSINESS PROCESS (NBP)

The implementation of Act 766 in 2010 also introduced a New Business Process for the Trust to streamline contribution collection, data processing and general operational activities.

The Transitional Provisions under Act 766 also imposed a further challenge in the handling of contribution data for the First and Second Tiers.

Hence, the New Business Process was an innovation strategy crafted to reverse the difficulty in the effective management of contributor accounts, the issuance of complete, accurate and acceptable statements of accounts for claim processing and eventual payments.

The supportive pillars of this business process were:

a. Restructuring of the Branch Accounts Unit.

b. A Gate-Keeping role for the Membership Accounts Officer.

c. Establishment of standards for capturing and transfer of data through systems and

d. Re-designing of Branches to facilitate the workflow.

The New Business Process initiative therefore became the key driver for the Operations Division’s Action Plan for 2010 as well as a key part of the Trust’s implementation strategy for the National Pensions Act 766.

The Gate-Keeping Concept integrated in the initiative, ensures that adequate and accurate data are always submitted to support every contribution payment.

 

Introduction of the OBS

In May 2014, the Trust implemented the Phase 1 of the Operational Business Suite (OBS) Project. The deployment of the new pensions software migrated all the Trust’s systems for Pension Administration into a new working environment. The phase two (2) commenced from 27th July, 2015. This business suite covers the under listed operational activities:

• Registration and maintenance of new employers and their records.

• Migration of employer registration numbers to a new numbering structure.

• Registration of new members biometrically.

• Biometric registration of existing members

• Biometric registration of existing pensioner’s.

• Migration of 8-digit numbers to 13-alpha numeric characters.

• Maintenance of member records.

• Digitization of documents at the Records Department

The OBS system automates and decentralizes the manual verification process that required that the identities of all member related transactions, except contribution report processing are confirmed at the Records Department prior to processing. As a result, it is a requirement that the finger impressions of all existing members of the scheme are captured electronically through biometric registration. The registration captures 10-finger impressions, picture and signature of the member.

Additionally, all existing records were digitized to conform with the OBS platform.

By the end of the OBS deployment, there will be multiple employer registration channels (SSNIT Portal, Branch Operations, Contact Centre and Employer Records Update).

There will also be multiple member enrolment channels through the SSNIT portal, Branch and the Mobile Biometric Units (MBU) and the Kiosks for member enquiries. The ultimate objective is to provide superior service delivery to the Trust’s stakeholders by employing appropriate technologies.

 

National Pensions (Amendment) Act, 2014, Act 883

An Act to amend the National Pensions Act 2008 (Act 766) to reduce the age for exemption from the First Tier Scheme, Act 766 and to provide for related matters.

 

i. Reduction in the Age Exemption

Reduction in the age exemption of application of the national Pensions Act 2008, Act 766 from 55 years to 50 years of contributors who were 50 years above as at January 1, 2010. This meant that all those exempted will continue to contribute 17.5%. They will also be paid the full benefit namely, monthly pension and the 25% lump sum by SSNIT.

Despite the reduction in the age exemption from 55 to 50 years, it is still optional for any such member to decide to join the Act 883.

 

ii. Correction of the formulas for computation of Pensions

The Amendment Act 833 also corrected the formula for the computation of pensions by providing that the minimum 15 years or 180 months period of contribution entitles a member to 37.5% pension right and every additional twelve (12) months contribution entitles the member to 1.125% pension right up to a maximum of 60%.

 

iii. Emigration Benefit

The Amendment introduce a new class of benefit called Emigration Benefit to be paid as a lump sum to non-Ghanaian members of the Social Security Scheme under Act 766 who retired and are leaving Ghana permanently.

 

v. Employers to furnish information by SSNIT within Seven (7) working days

The Amendment provides that, where SSNIT officials request an employer to furnish any information relating to the employer, the employer shall furnish the information within seven (7) working days.

 

ACHIEVEMENTS

The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) is the oldest Social Security administration institution in the country since 1965. It is also currently the largest public non-bank financial institution in Ghana. In terms of the impact on beneficiaries, social security has significantly reduced poverty among the elderly who rely on social security.

 

SSNIT- ISSA RELATIONS

The International Social Security Association (ISSA) the world’s leading international organisation which brings together national and social security administrations and agencies, has had a close relationship with SSNIT since 1986. And ever since SSNIT got acquainted with the ISSA Regional Office in Togo, SSNIT has always been its sanctuary during periods of political turmoil in host African countries.

Since 1991, SSNIT has provided resource persons in almost all the ISSA training programmes organized in English- Speaking African Countries, to present technical papers.

SSNIT actively participates in the ISSA Bureau, the Governing body of the Association. The late Mr. Henry Dei during his tenure as the Director General of SSNIT was elected to the ISSA Bureau during the ISSA General Assembly held in Vienna, Austria in 1989. He was re-elected at the General Assembly held in Acapulco, Mexico in 1992 and again

in Nusa Dua, Indonesia in 1995. Mr. Dei also participated in various Committees of the ISSA Bureau as well as in the Working Group on the amendment of the ISSA Constitution.

Mr. Kwesi Osei, a former Director General was also elected ISSA Bureau member held in Stockholm, Sweden in 2001. He also served in some Committees of the Association. Currently, Mr. Ernest Thompson the Director General is on the ISSA Bureau from 2014.

Mr. Thompson was also appointed as one of the Technical Expert for ISSA Academy in the area of investment of Pension Funds. The Academy is a central component of the new ISSA Centre for Excellence that provides professional standard and practical support to ISSA Member organisations in achieving greater heights in the investment and good governance of pension funds.

Mr. T.F. Ohene, the General Manager, Operations of SSNIT has been the Vice Chairman of the ISSA Technical Commission on Compliance and Contributions from 2014 to 2015.

Likewise Mr. Leslie Arde-Acquah, the General Manager, Benefits of SSNIT is also the Vice-Chairman, ISSA Technical Commission on Pensions since 2014.

With the retirement of the ISSA Regional Director for Africa, Mr. Joseph Ewane Ejuba on 31st December, 2007, the ISSA Regional Office came to an end. It was replaced with the establishment of sub-regional offices in Abidjan, Pretoria, Yaounde and Casablanca. However, Mr. Ejuba continued to function as ISSA Regional Adviser for Africa from January 2008 to December, 2012 from the Pension, House in Accra.

SSNIT Activities with ISSA

a. 1987 (January) ISSA Regional Training Course for English-Speaking Africa, Accra
b. 1989 (to date) Member ISSA Bureau (the Governing Council of ISSA)
c. 1991 Hosted the ISSA Africa Regional Directorate during the crisis in Lome, Togo.
d. 1991 (27th – 30th Nov) Hosting of Meeting of Social Security Directors in Africa, Accra.
e. 1997 (October) Hosted the Regional Training Course for English Speaking, Africa, Accra.
f. 1997 Hosted the International Symposium on the Aged in Accra.
g. 1998 Member of the Working Group on the amendment of the ISSA Constitution.
h. 1999 (6th – 9th July) Hosted the ISSA X111th Africa Regional Conference, Accra.
i. 2000 (29th May – 2nd June) 3rd ISSA Inter-Regional Training Seminar on Technologies for Actuarial Valuations, Accra.
j. 2004 (August) ISSA Africa Regional Directorate relocated to Accra as a result of political upheavals in Cote D’Ivoire.
k. 2004 – 2007 Vice-Chairman, ISSA Technical Commission on Statistical Actuarial and Financial Studies.
l. 2010 (27 – 28 June) Hosted ISSA Technical Seminar on the Extension of Social Security Coverage, Accra.

 

AWARDS

1998: “Good Corporate Citizen Award” from the International Social Security Association (ISSA).
2000: “Excellence in Innovation in Shelter Development” by the Millennium Excellence Awards, Ghana.
2004: “Corporate Organisation of the Year 2004” by Institute of Public Relations, Ghana.
2008: “ISSA Good Practice Awards Africa Competition”.
2011: “ISSA Good Practice Award Africa Competition”.
2012: “PR Organisation of Year” (Public Sector) by the Institute of Public Relations.
2014: The New Era Award for Technology Innovation & Quality by Association, Otherways Management and Consulting , Paris, France.

 

CHIEF ADMINISTRATORS/DIRECTOR GENERALS OF SSNIT 1965 – 2017

NO. NAME YEAR
1 C. A. Adapoe 1965 – 1973
2 Col. J.M. Ewa 1973 – 1975
3 Col. M.O. Koranteng (Rtd) 1975 – 1977
4 Mr. Alexander Awuku 1977 – 1982
5 Mr. J.A. Musah 1982 – 1984
6 Mr. S.K.A.B. Crabbe 1985 – 1986
7 Mr. Henry G. Dei 1986 – 1998
8 Mr. Charles Asare 1998 – 2001
9 Mr. Eric A. Adjei (Ag.) Feb. 2001 – July 2001
10 Mr. Kwasi Osei 2001 – 2008
11 Mr. Kwasi Boatin Dec. 2008 – Feb. 2010
12 Dr. Frank Odoom Feb. 2010 – May 2013
13 Mr. Ernest Thompson May 2013 – Jan. 2017
14 Dr. John Ofori-Tenkorang March 2017 To Date

 

SSNIT BOARD OF DIRECTORS/TRUSTEES 1973 – 2015

1ST BOARD OF DIRECTORS (1973 – 1975)

Nana Oduro Numapau II (Government Nominee) –     Chairman
 Mr. A.M. Issifu (Rep. of TUC)   –     Member
 Mr. K.A. Cato (Rep. of Employers’ Assoc.)   –     Member
 Mr. F. Bannerman-Menson (Rep. of Employers’ Assoc.)   –     Member
 Mr. J.O. Amuah (Rep. of Ministry of Labour)   –     Member
 Dr. A.K. Appiah (Rep. of Ministry of Finance)   –     Member
 Mr. S.R.T. Ocansey (Rep. of Bank of Ghana)   –     Member
 Mr. Joe Donkor (Rep. of S.I.C.)   –     Member
 Col. J.M. Ewa (Rtd) (Chief Administrator, SSNIT)   –     Member
 Mr. J.A. Musah    –     Secretary

 

 

2ND RECONSTITUTED BOARD OF DIRECTORS (1975 – 1977)

Nana Oduro Numapau II (Government Nominee) –     Chairman
 Mr. A.M. Issifu (Rep. of TUC)   –     Member
 Mr. Ben Edjah (Rep. of TUC)   –     Member
 Mr. K.A. Cato (Rep. of Employers’ Assoc.)   –     Member
 Mr. F. Bannerman-Menson (Rep. of Employers’ Assoc.)   –     Member
 Mr. E.A. Addy (Rep. of Ministry of Labour)   –     Member
 Mr. K. Anane-Binfoh (Rep. of Ministry of Finance)   –     Member
 Mr. H.E. Assan (Rep. of Bank of Ghana)   –     Member
 Mr. Joe Donkor (Rep. of S.I.C.)   –     Member
 Col. M.O. Koranteng (Rtd) (Chief Administrator, SSNIT)   –     Member
 Mr. N.B. Afoom  –     Secretary

 

3RD RECONSTITUTED BOARD OF DIRECTORS (1977 – 1980)

 Oseadeayo Nana Addo Dunkwa III (Govt. Nominee)  –     Chairman
 Mr. K.A. Cato (Rep. of Employers’ Assoc.)   –     Member
 Mr. F. Bannerman-Menson (Rep. of Employers’ Assoc.)   –     Member
 Mr. A.M. Issifu (Rep. of TUC)   –     Member
 Mr. Ben Edjah (Rep. of TUC)   –     Member
 Mr. F.K. Quaynor (Rep. of Ministry of Labour)   –     Member
 Mr. K. Anane-Binfoh (Rep. of Ministry of Finance)   –     Member
 Mr. H.E. Assan (Rep. of Bank of Ghana)   –     Member
 Mr. Joe Donkor (Rep. of S.I.C.)   –     Member
 Mr. Alexander Awuku (Chief Administrator, SSNIT)   –     Member
 Mr. N.B. Afoom/Mr. Cyril Brown  –     Secretary

 

4TH RECONSTITUTED BOARD OF DIRECTORS (1980 – 1982)

Mr. Martin Donkor (Government Nominee)    –     Chairman
 Mr. F. Bannerman-Menson (Rep. of Employers’ Assoc.)   –     Member
 Mr. K.A. Cato/J.K. Gyan (Rep. of Employers’ Assoc.)   –     Member
 Mr. Ben Edjah (Rep. of TUC)   –     Member
 Mr. Martin Acquaye (Rep. of TUC)   –     Member
 Mr. F.K. Quaynor/K.A. Yentumi (Rep. of Ministry of Labour)   –     Member
 Mr. Sam Daisie (Rep. of Ministry of Finance)   –     Member
 Mr. St. John Thompson (Rep. of Bank of Ghana)   –     Member
 Mr. Joe Donkor (Rep. of S.I.C.)   –     Member
 Mr. Alexander Awuku (Chief Administrator, SSNIT)   –     Member
 Mr. Cyril Brown (Company Secretary)   –     Secretary

 

5TH RECONSTITUTED BOARD OF DIRECTORS (1982 – 1984)

(The Interim Management Council-IMC)

Mr. J.A. Musah (Chief Administrator, SSNIT) –     Chairman
Mr. T.K. Ollenu (Rep. of Ministry of Finance) –  Member
Mr. A. Okyere-Twum (General Manager, Operations, SSNIT) – Member
Mr. S.K. Nartey (Financial Controller, SSNIT) – Member
Mr. I.K.A. Ortsin (Rep. of Snr Staff Assoc., SSNIT) – Member
Mr. J. Garshong (Rep. of Local Union, SSNIT) – Member
Mr. E.L.K. Adane/Mr S. Kofi Nti (Rep. of SSNIT) –     Secretary

 

6TH RECONSTITUTED BOARD OF DIRECTORS (1985 – 1986)

(The Interim Workers Council)

Mr. S.K.A.B. Crabbe (Ag. Chief Administrator of SSNIT) – Chairman
Mr. E.Fynn-Williams (Rep. of SSNIT Management) – Member
Mr. Ralph Ameyaw (Rep. of Snr. Staff Association, SSNIT) – Member
Mr. Samuel Addo (Rep. of Committee for the Defence of the Revolution (CDR), SSNIT) – Member
Mr. Jones Adotse (Rep. of Local Union, SSNIT) – Member
Mr. S. Kofi Nti (Rep. of SSNIT) – Secretary 

 

 

7TH RECONSTITUTED BOARD OF DIRECTORS (1986 – 1994)

Prof. Basil C.F. Lokko (Government Nominee) – Chairman
Mr. D.S. Boateng (PNDC Sec. Rep. of Min. of Mobilization and Social Welfare) – Member
Mr. F. Bannerman-Menson (to 1989) Rep. of Employers’ Assoc.) – Member
Mr. E. Ato Williams (1990) Rep. of Employers’ Assoc.) – Member
Mr. A.K. Yankey (Rep. of TUC) – Member
Mr. S.K. Asante (to 1988) Rep of TUC) – Member
Mr. L.K. Molbila (PNDC Reg. Sec. for Upper East, Rep. of SIC) – Member
Mr. Ossei Kumah (Rep. of Bank of Ghana) – Member
Mr. G.K. Hagan (Rep. of Ministry of Finance) – Member
Mr. F.E.Y. Attipoe (Government. Nominee) – Member
Mr. H.G. Dei (Chief Administrator) – Member
Mr. C.P. Sawyerr – Secretary

 

 

8TH RECONSTITUTED BOARD OF DIRECTORS (1994 – 1997/8)

Hon. D.S. Boateng (Government Nominee) – Chairman
Hon. Victor Selormey (Rep. of Ministry of Finance) – Member
Obaa Panin Nana Ama Yeboaa (Mrs. Theresa Owusu) (Rep. of Bank of Ghana) – Member
Dr. (Mrs) Eugenia Ofori-Adjei (Government Nominee) – Member
Mr. Kyeretwie Opoku ( Government Nominee) – Member
Mr. Kwame Addo ( Government Nominee) – Member
Mrs Georgina Baiden/Mr. S.A. Asante (Rep. of GNAT) – Member
Mr. T. Mintah-Jacobs/Mr. George Owusu/Mr. K. Amoasi-Andoh (Rep. of Ghana Employers’ Association) – Member
Mr. Harry Amonoo/Mr. Charles Stanley-Pierre/Mr. Ato Ampiah (Rep. of Ghana Employers’ Association) – Member
Mr. Smart Y.A. Chigabatia (Rep. of Civil Servants’ Association) – Member
Mr. Christian Appiah-Adjei (Secretary General, Rep of TUC) – Member
Mr. H.T. Mbiah/Mr Napoleon Kpoh (Rep. of TUC) – Member
Mr. Henry Dei (Director General, SSNIT) – Member
Mr. P.K.O. Addo/Mrs Lucy Lamptey (Company Secretary) – Secretary

 

 

9TH RECONSTITUTED BOARD OF DIRECTORS (1998-2000)

Hon. Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu/Mr. Joseph Boateng (Government Nominee) – Chairman
Ms. Sherry Ayittey (Government Nominee) – Member
Mr. Joseph Boateng (Government Nominee) – Member
Mr. Augustine Kwame Addo (Government Nominee) – Member
Hon. Victor Selormey (Rep. of Ministry of Finance) – Member
Mr. Ato Ampiah (Rep. of Employers’ Association) – Member
Mr. Kwamina Amoasi-Andoh (Rep. of Employers’ Association) – Member
Mr. E. Ossei-Kumah (Rep. of Bank of Ghana) – Member
Mr. Smart Y.A. Chigabatia (Rep. of Civil Servants Association) – Member
Mr. Seth Asiedu Asante (Rep. of GNAT) – Member
Mr. Napoleon D.K. Kpoh (Rep. of TUC) – Member
Mr. Christian Appiah Agyei (Rep. of TUC) – Member
Mrs. Ama Benyiwah Doe (Rep. Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare) – Member
Mr. Charles Asare (Director-General, SSNIT) – Member
Mrs. Lucy Lamptey (Company Secretary) – Secretary

 

 

10TH RECONSTITUTED BOARD OF DIRECTORS (2000 – 2008)

Mr. Ato Ampiah/Mr. J.S. Addo (Government Nominee) – Chairman
Dr. A. Akoto Osei (Rep. of Ministry of Finance) – Member
Mr. E. Asiedu-Mante/Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia (Rep. of Bank of Ghana) – Member
Mr. K.S. Asafu-Adjaye/Hon. Joe Kingsley Hackman (Government Nominee) – Member
Dr. Edmund O.T. Prempeh (Nana Adu Gyamfi I) (Government Nominee) – Member
Mrs. Faustina Mensah/ Mrs. Gina Ama Blay (Government Nominee) – Member
Nana Fredua Agyeman Pambuo I (Rep. of Employers’ Association) – Member
Mrs. Rose Karikari-Anang (Rep. of Employers’ Association) – Member
Mr. Kwasi Adu-Amankwah/Mr. Kofi Asamoah (Rep. of TUC) – Member
Mr. Napoleon Kpoh/ Mr. Abraham Tetteh Dian Okine (Rep. of TUC) – Member
Mr. W. Kusi-Atansah (Rep. of GNAT) – Member
Alhaji Yakubu Ziblim/Mr. Robertson Nii AKwei Allotey (Rep. of Civil Servants’ Ass.) – Member
Mr. Thompson Kuduo Abu-Bakr Bibilazu (Rep. of Ministry of Manpower Development and Employment) – Member
Mr. Kwasi Osei (Director-General, SSNIT) – Member
Mrs. Lucy Lamptey/Mr. Nathaniel Otoo/Mrs. Gifty J. Annan (Company Secretary) – Secretary

 

11TH RECONSTITUTED BOARD OF TRUSTEES (2009 – 2013)

Mr. Kwame Peprah (Government Nominee) – Chairman
Mr. Peter Kofi Otoo Addo (Government Nominee) – Member
Mrs. Sati Ocran (Government Nominee) – Member
Hon. Fifi Kwetey (Rep. of Ministry of Finance & Economic Planning) – Member
Nana Fredua Agyeman Pambuo 1/Mr Terence Ronald Darko (Rep. of Ghana Employers’ Association) – Member
Mr. Theodore Gyau (Rep. of Ghana Employers’ Asociation) – Member
Mr. Kofi Asamoah (Rep. of Organised Labour) – Member
Mr. Abraham Tetteh Dian Okine (Rep.of Organised Labour) – Member
Mr. Kwame Amo-Dako (Rep. of Organised Labour) – Member
Mr. Robertson Nii Akwei Allotey (Rep. of Organised Labour) – Member
Lt. Col. Jacob Hester Blood-Dzraku (Rtd.) (Rep. of Security Services) – Member
Mr. Solomon Laryea Tawiah Yemoson/ Mr Theodore Nee Okpey (Rep. of Nat. Pensioners’ Assoc.) – Member
Mr. Kwasi Boatin/Dr Frank Odoom (Director General, SSNIT) – Member
Mrs. Gifty J. Annan (Company Secretary) – Secretary

 

 

12TH RECONSTITUTED BOARD OF TRUSTEES (2013-2017)

Prof. Joshua Alabi (Government Nominee) Chairman
Mr. Kwaku D. Boateng (Government Nominee) Member
Mrs. Regina Atsutsey (Government Nominee) Member
Hon. Kweku Ricketts-Hagan/Hon. Mona Helen K. Quartey (Rep./Ministry of Finance) Member
Mr. Terence Ronald Darko (Rep/Ghana Employers’ Asso.) Member
Mr. Alex Frimpong (Rep. Ghana Employers’ Association) Member
Mr. Kofi Asamoah (Rep. Organised Labour) Member
Mr. Kwame Amo-Dako (Rep. Organised Labour) Member
Alhaji Naaba Mahamadu Asibi Azongo (Rep. Organised Labour) Member
Mr. Prince William Ankrah (Rep. Organised Labour) Member
Col. James Adamu Koto Rtd. (Rep. Security Services) Member
Mr. Theodore Nee-Okpey (Rep. National Pensioners’ Association) Member
Dr. Frank Odoom/Mr Ernest Thompson (Director General of SSNIT) Member
Mrs. Gifty J. Annan (Company Secretary) Secretary

 

SOCIAL SECURITY LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

  1. SOCIAL SECURITY ACT, 1965, ACT 279 JULY 1965
  • Formal establishment of a Social Security Fund with six (6) benefits.
  • Contribution rates of 7.5% workers and 15% for employees.
  1. 1972 – SOCIAL SECURITY DECREE 1972 – NRCD 127
  • Contribution rates reduced to 5% worker and 12.5% employer.
  • Birth of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).
  1. 1975 – PENSIONS AND SOCIAL SECURITY AMENDMENT DECREE, 1975 SMCD. 8
  • This created an option for pensionable officers under Cap 30 to either remain under Cap 30 or opt for SSNIT. Those who failed to opt were deemed to belong to SSNIT.
  1. 1978 – PENSIONS AND SOCIAL SECURITY AMENDMENT DECREE 1978 – SMCD. 178
  • This Decree was enacted by Supreme Military Council as an amendment to SMCD.8 of 1975.
  1. 1985– POLICE SERVICE (PENSIONS) LAW 1985 PNDC. LAW 126.
  • This law was made by the PNDC on 19th December 1985.
  • It excluded members of the Police Service from the Social Security Scheme.
  1. 1986 – PUBLIC OFFICERS (PENSIONS) AMENDMENT LAW, 1986 PNDC LAW 165.
  • The law was made on 16th December 1986 by the PNDC.
  • This expunged Public Law Officers and others from the SSNIT scheme.
  • All 5% paid by the officers to SSNIT were to be refunded to the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) when they retire or terminate their services.
  1. 1991 – SOCIAL SECURITY LAWS, 1991 PNDC LAW, 247
  • This was the law enacted on 1st December 1991 by the PNDC which converted the Provident Fund into a Pension Scheme.
  • Three (3) Benefits – Old Age, Invalidity and Survivors.
  1. 1992 – STUDENTS LOANS SCHEME LAW, 1992 PNDC LAW 276
  • Enacted on 20th January 1992 but deemed to have come into force on 1st January 1988.
  • Beneficiaries were Ghanaian tertiary students.
  • It introduced attachment of contributions and benefits.
  1. ARTICLE 199 AND SECTION 13 OF THE TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS OF THE 1992 – CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA
  • Voluntary retirement of Public Servants at 45 years.
  • No benefit under SSNIT until 55 years or any other years prescribed by Parliament
  1. 1996 – SECURITY AND INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES ACT (ACT 526) 1996 SECTION 34

This Act exempts officers in the Intellegence Agencies from the Social Security Scheme.

  • Officers and employees in the Intellegence Agencies shall with respect to their employment in the Intellegence Agencies be entitled to such retirement benefits as are for the time being applicable to the Police Service.
  1. 1997 – GHANA NATIONAL FIRE SERVICE ACT (537) 1997
  • This law was made in September 1997 by the Parliament of the 4th Republic and exempted Fire Service from the Social Security Scheme.
  1. 1998 – CHILDREN’S ACT, 1998 ACT 560
  • The Children’s Act was enacted to regulate all matters relating to children in Ghana.
  • Introduced 60% of survivors’ benefit to a children below the voting age.
  • Update of nominations every 5 years.
  1. 2008 – NATIONAL PENSIONS ACT 2008 (ACT 766)
  • Became operational in 2010
  • Contribution rates – 5.5% for the worker and 13% for the employer.
  • Introduced a 3 –Tier Scheme.
  • A Regulator – National Pensions Regulations Authority (NPRA)
  • Minimum contribution period was reduced to 15 years (180months).
  1. 2014 – NATIONAL PENSIONS (AMENDMENT) ACT 2014 (ACT 883)
  • An Act to amend the National Pensions Act 2008 (Act 766) to reduce the age for exemption from the First Tier Scheme, Act 766 from 55 years to 50 years as at 2010.
  • Correction of the formulas for computation of Pensions by providing that, the minimum 15 years or 180 months period of contribution entitles a member to 37.5% pension right and every additional twelve (12) months contribution entitles the member to 1.125% pension right up to a maximum of 60%.
  • A non-Ghanaian member of the Scheme, who satisfies the Trust that he is emigrating or has emigrated permanently from Ghana shall be paid a lump sum.
  • Employers to furnish information demanded by SSNIT within seven (7) working days.
  • It also provided for other related matters.