Low salaries for Ghanaian workers resulting in low pensions pay for retirees, SSNIT boss discloses

Director-General of the Social Security National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Dr John Ofori-Tenkoran says his entity make low pension payments to Ghanaians because they earn low salaries.

Director General of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang

According to him, some 25% of Ghanaian workers who contribute to the SSNIT scheme make as little as GH¢400 or less.

The monthly salary for a person earning the minimum wage of GHS8.8 is GHS264, meaning a quarter of Ghana workers earn a little above the daily minimum wage.

“50% of all the contributors said they were earning gross salaries of 1,000 Ghana cedis or less – In the formal sector. 71% of people in the formal sector say they are earning 1,800 or less,” the SSNIT boss read from a chart showing the distribution of monthly pensions versus salaries for February 2019."

Dr Ofori-Tenkorang while speaking in an interview said for Ghanaian workers to earn higher pension during retirement, allowances should be added to the basic salary.

This according to him, will increase the total income on which pension is deducted.

It will require the amendment of the law regulating pensions but the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) does not back the proposal for a review of the pension laws.

Meanwhile, the entity said it will no longer make lump-sum payments to pensioners on the new pension scheme.

The Employment and Labour Relations Minister, Ignatius Baffour Awuah made this revelation explained that the move is in fulfilment of the ten-year payment date spelt out in the laws establishing the three-tier pension scheme.

He said the strategy will take effect from 2020, and it is expected to improve access to funds for better welfare of pensioners who have mostly complained of the meager claims received from the state pensions manager.

“Upon the retirement of any individual, the scheme that a person belongs to will pay the entitlement due the person. There are going to be two payments; SSNIT will continue to do the monthly payments but then the bulk payments will come from the defined scheme the person belongs to. So assuming I belong to hedge pension, it is the trustees of hedge pension that will ensure I get my defined pension because by that time I will even have foreknowledge of what I have contributed so far and the interest it has accrued,” he added.

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