The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has urged employers to make prompt payments of their workers’ contributions to avoid prosecution.

The Director-General of SSNIT, Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang, made the call at its maiden Employers Breakfast Meeting held at the Swiss Spirit Alisa Hotel in Accra.

 He said “defaulting on SSNIT contributions is considered criminal under the law so the cases we have in court, some are for various infractions by employers including failure to register their establishments or their workers working in there, failure to submit their contributions report, or the employers’ records and failure to pay contributions and associated penalties.

Dr Ofori-Tenkorang added, “I must say that these court actions we embark on are a drain on both you the employer and the Trust as well. We want to have a pensions system where the majority of the employers will voluntarily comply and avoid the payment of the needless penalties.”

He said it is imperative for employers to pay contributions for their workers. He added that this was necessary to avoid prosecution and payment of penalties since the SSNIT does not take delight in coming after businesses.

To further improve services, SSNIT revealed they were in the process of introducing an online platform for payments of SSNIT contributions and other transactions.

The ‘Director-General also reiterated that SSNIT will stop paying the 25% Lump Sum to new pensioners from January 2020.

He said, “As you may know, PNDC Law 247 sunsets in December. The last group of such workers will turn 60 by December 31, 2019. This implies that all workers who turn 60 from next year will have their benefits processed under the three tier pension scheme (Act 766).” He therefore advised employers to help their workers access their Lump Sum from their Second Tier Fund Managers.

According to data by SSNIT, debts owed it within the private sector stood at GH¢64.67 million as at June 2019. 4,310 cases were also pending in court against employers for various infractions.

The Trust’s total Asset under Management (AUM) was GH¢9.46 billion as at 2018 and 96.5% of this was performing well. These investments, according to Dr Qfori-Tenkorang, have boosted job creation, stimulated economic growth, contributed, immensely to the development of Ghana’s capital markets, helped some banks meet the minimum capital requirement by the Bank of Ghana and reduced the housing deficit in the country.