About 640 establishments owe the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) a total of 16.78 billion cedis from January to September 2007.

Ms. Stella Norshie, Acting Branch Manager, Osu, said the amount had attracted a penalty of 9.60 billion cedis and a debt judgement of 21.6 million cedis that needed to be retrieved from defaulters.

She stated this at an employer’s seminar for its clients under the theme: “Know Your Obligations and Benefits Under the SSNIT Pension Scheme.”

Ms Norshie advised clients to endeavour to make regular contributions for their employees to cushion them when they retired.

“The scheme is the only basic social security scheme that insures workers against old age, invalidity and death and as such every individual as well as employers must make it a point to save for the rainy day.”

Explaining the scheme, Ms. Norshie noted that every worker was to contribute five per cent of his salary and the employer would have to add 12.5 per cent.

She noted that the account of contributors must be active at the time of retirement or invalidity to ensure smooth processing of claims and delivery adding, “SSNIT does not allow lawyers to represent clients”.

Ms. Norshie said to qualify for full pension one must be 60 years and must have contributed for 240 months while the age of a reduced pension was 55.

She identified some of the challenges facing the scheme as irregular submission of contribution report by employers, invalid SSNIT numbers and refusal on the part of employers to allow SSNIT officials to access data.

Ms Su’ad Yahaya of the Public Affairs Department said the SSNIT had made various interventions to make it more efficient in its service delivery. The scheme has a toll free line – 080033333 to ensure unlimited access to clients for enquiries.

She said the scheme was liaising with the National Youth Employment Secretariat to ensure that most of the youth were registered.

Ms Yahaya noted that staff efficiency had been improved through various training programmes in the area of customer care and added that soon the scheme would launch its IPAS project to make transactions more effective especially on the Internet.

Source: GNA


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