Published on 30 August, 2021.
The Director-General of Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Dr. John Ofori-Tenkorang, says that over 900,000 members have had their SSNIT and Ghana Card numbers merged.
This follows launch of the integration process that began in June 2021. Effectively, about 1.6 million active SSNIT members will, by the close of 2021, be fully integrated onto the National Identification Authority (NIA) platform.
Speaking at the National Quadrennial Congress of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) last week, Dr. Tenkorang said: “This migration will bring some convenience to you. You’ll only have to carry one card for all your transactions.
“The plan is that from 2022, the Ghana Card will be the only accepted means of identification required for members to transact business with SSNIT.”
The merger is also in compliance with Regulation 7 (1) of the National Identity Register Regulations, 2012, L.I. 2111 and a directive from the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA). The regulation, among other things, requires use of the Ghana Card as a means of identification for “transactions pertaining to individuals in respect of pensions”.
Dr. Tenkorang called for a shift in the conversation from low pensions to low insurable incomes (salaries).
“The 11 percent contribution guarantees you up to a maximum of 60 percent of the average from your best three years’ annual salaries, depending on the number of years you have contributed. So, for a three-year average best salary of GH¢3,000, you are guaranteed a monthly pension of up to a maximum of GH¢1,800,” the Director-General explained.
Currently, over 80 percent of workers in Ghana insure salaries of GH¢2,500 or less, which means that 80 percent are contributing GH¢275 each month, according to the Trust. Also, 95.5 percent of pensioners are paid GH¢2,500 or less each month. Only 5.3 percent of workers in Ghana pay premium on salaries of GH¢5,000 or more. On the other hand, 1.4 percent of pensioners also receive GH¢5,000 and above as monthly pension.
“Should this remain unchanged, 80 percent of retirees will receive a pension of GH¢1,500 or less in the future. This simply means if the contributions records of workers in active service do not significantly improve, then the reality of your pension payments may not be that different from those who are on pension now,” Dr. Tenkorang said.
He called for consolidation of salaries by employers to guarantee a better pension in the future.
In 2020, a total of GH¢3.3billion was paid out as benefits. This is made up of over GH¢2.9billion that was paid to 227,000 pensioners, and GH¢16.3million was paid to some 1,400 invalid pensioners. The Trust also paid GH¢10million to 192 emigrants, GH¢273.7million to 24,000 survivors, and GH¢51.8million in lump-sums and other payments.