Public sector pensioners want higher benefits from the State insurance

Public sector pensioners in Ghana have decried the meager allowances they receive from the managers of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).

Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT)

As Ghana joins the world to commemorate International Labour Day on May 1, 2019, some pensioners have called on SSNIT to modify their operations to improve the living conditions of beneficiaries.

I an interview with Accra-based Citi FM, the pensioners explained that their meager claims could partly be blamed for the unbearable situations some of them have to go through which in some extreme cases results in deaths few years after retirement.

In Ghana, many pensioners complain of difficulty in living a meaningful life after retiring from active work.

These pensioners are often burdened with the load of paying hospital bills, finding a permanent place to live as well as ensuring that one has enough to meet daily expenditure on basic amenities. 

Agnes Sackey who has been on pension for the past 10 years said she earns GHC600 a month.

She said but for the help, she receives from her children, she would be enduring hardship by now.

“As one gets older, the diseases you are exposed to are high so many pensioners like myself end up spending all their pension funds on medicine. Unlike many of my mates who live from hand to mouth, I am fortunate my sons have built me a house and a provision store so it helps with my upkeep. Had it not been for that, life would have been extremely difficult for me”.

Another pensioner, Christine Amporfro has been on pension for just two years. He lamented the difficulty he encounters relying only on his pension for his daily upkeep.

“As a pensioner, you should enjoy life but that is not the case for many people in Ghana. We spend a good part of our lives working for the country only to suffer in our old age. We are not even sure how the calculation is done we just accept whatever amount is given to us as our pension funds which is really not enough.”

Pension benefits are regular payments made by the state to people of or above the official retirement age.

In Ghana, the first pension scheme was introduced in 1946. It subsequently metamorphosed into the CAP 30 scheme in the 1950s and 60s.

Meanwhile, the CEO of Databank, Kojo Addae Mensah said employees must start preparing for retirement early in life.

“The mistake most Ghanaians make is that they start preparing for pension when they are in their fifties which is a big mistake. One should start preparing as early as possible”.

“The good thing is that these days there are both public and private pension services to help one prepare for retirement,” he added.

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