Published on 17 September, 2021.
A total of GH¢1.8 billion has been made in benefit payments to pensioners as of the first half of 2021, data from the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has shown.
This represents 8.17 percent increase in benefits paid compared to the same period 2020 figure of GH¢1.66 billion.
The Trust made GH¢1.58 billion as pensions and GH¢8.81 million was paid to invalid pensioners; whereas, the total lump-sum payment was about GH¢214.29 million; this was made up of payments to survivors, old age members of the scheme, refunds, and emigrants. In 2020, GH¢1.5 billion and GH¢7.75 million were paid to old age and invalid pensioners respectively; and GH¢152 million in a lump sum payment.
For full-year 2020, a total of GH¢3.3 billion was paid out as benefits. This is made up of over GH¢2.9 billion which was paid to 227,000 pensioners and GH¢16.3 million paid to some 1,400 invalid pensioners. The Trust also paid GH¢10 million to 192 emigrants, GH¢273.7 million to 24,000 survivors, and GH¢51.8 million in lump sums and other payments.
Currently, there are about 232,651 pensioners who were being catered for and living financially independent lives because they joined the scheme.
The number of persons under the Trust’s invalidity pension payroll increased by 13.68 percent in 2021 compared to the same period in 2020; in the case of old-age pensions, the payroll increased by 4.92 percent in 2021 compared to the same period last year.
The invalidity pension is a monthly cash benefit paid to members of the Scheme who can no longer work due to a disease, an illness, or disablement of a permanent nature.
This arrangement is for those who had contributed for at least 12 months within 36 months before the sickness or accident occurred and had been certified by a medical board as not being able to work again. Beneficiaries are eligible to enjoy the benefit from SSNIT for the rest of their lives unless they recovered at some point.
Available data shows that, currently, over 80 percent of workers in Ghana ensure 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.
Per the Trust, 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.