Published on 31 August, 2022.
The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has made a total of GH¢2.21billion in benefit payments to pensioners as of August 2022.
A perusal of the Trust’s data show this represents a decline of 3.91 percent in benefit payments compared to 2021’s GH¢2.30billion.
Quite unusually, the number of pensioners had reduced to 230,789 in August 2022 from 230,960 at same period 2021. This, the Trust said, can be explained by the demise of some pensioners over the period.
Also, SSNIT has withheld approximately GH¢320million as a result of deactivating 21,337 pensioners for non-renewal of Pensioner Certificates from April 2018 to June 2022.
Available data show that, currently, over 80 percent of workers in Ghana have insured 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 a 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 a monthly pension.
According to 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 that 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.”
SSNIT and NIA Merger
Some 1.9 million SSNIT numbers have been linked with the National Identification Authority numbers (Ghana Card), and according to the Trust this has saved the Scheme about GH¢60million that would have otherwise gone into printing new cards.
The printing of new biometric cards was halted in 2018 in anticipation of the Ghana Card, which according to the Trust costs the Scheme more than US$7 per card.
Between June 2021 and June 2022, SSNIT deployed its systems to allow members to merge their SSNIT and NIA numbers, as it issued a directive that the Ghana Card is the only identification that would be recognised by the Trust in July 2022.
This complies with Regulation 7 (1) of the National Identity Register Regulations, 2012, L.I. 2111, which requires use of the Ghana Card as identification for “transactions pertaining to individuals in respect of pensions” and “transactions that have social security implications”.
With integration of SSNIT numbers with the Ghana Card, SSNIT intends to leverage the national platform for a more effective and efficient identification system for convenience, ease of doing business, eliminating the cost of printing cards, improved claims processing time and expansion of coverage, among others.