Photo source: GNA

Imagine as a child your mother or someone close to the family informs you that your father who has consistently catered for the family and its daily needs stands a risk of losing his job because his long-time employer is going out of business.  You will panic, right?  You are likely to ask endless questions, right?

One will naturally worry and ask questions out of anxiety, because what has proved to be reliable running water from the tap is about to seize flowing especially when one has grown up always seeing that running water never dried up on the family.

That running water had been a constant supply, almost like a life companion for the family. You definitely would need assurances from elsewhere and therefore bent on asking your mother, repeatedly, where the family's future sustenance will come from.  

SSNIT scheme

And so, quite rightly so too, for those of us retirees on Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) pensions scheme. One has continued to rely on SSNIT for one's daily bread and so naturally had cause to worry with the news last week that pensìoners' source of sustenance would soon dry out. The news must have prompted instant reaction and a natural cause of worry in contributors and beneficiaries.

According to the news item which made the rounds, SSNIT is projected to deplete its resources in meeting its financial commitments to beneficiaries in the near future.

As per the news, a recent actuarial report by the International Labour Organisation(ILO) indicated that SSNIT's reserves are expected to reach zero in some 12 years (2036).

But how? One may ask because one is aware of some of the solid investments the scheme has made over the years and the efforts to get even more people on the scheme without fail. 

A very recent visit to one of their district offices impressed me so much with prompt attention and direction to customers who walked in. I was even more impressed with the loud greetings of "SSNIT, we deliver on our promise" advertised all over encouraging enrollments from artisans to individual entrepreneurs. The encouragement is all over in the media and their outdoor advertising as well. 

So, how can all the proactive actions by management over the years not seem to be working for the future sustenance of the national pensions scheme?

Since 1991, SSNIT has consistently provided financial securities for retirees on their scheme. They have given pensioners, the cause to rely on an assured banker. Without blinking an eye, one's benefit gets credited as soon as it is due.

As one was beginning to digest the ILO's report, it did not take too long before SSNIT jumped in with some breath of calmness. According to a response from SSNIT, ILO's report was false. This outright dismissal of the report came barely 24 hours after the levelled allegations by the ILO.

According to SSNIT, it receives enough contributions to pay accruing benefits due members. Besides the SSNIT pensions scheme, there is a partially funded scheme with pension payments additionally funded from contributions and returns from investments.

The statement clearly stated that pension payments are not refunded by reserves as the ILO statement highlighted.


This is certainly reassuring news for contributors as well as those currently drawing from the scheme.  There is nothing as alarming as to realise or to be told that one's source of financing is depleting with no assurance of where replenishment is going to come from.

In this day and age where the cost of living keeps rising, affording even one meal is a struggle for some families, salaries are barely taking people home. The mental health of people is said to be genuinely deteriorating due to multiple anxieties, including low finances.

Sadly,  in both some public and private institutions, employers are unable to pay their employees their monthly salaries because they simply cannot make the necessary returns on their investments with the harsh economic conditions striking them squarely in the face. It means, therefore, that with employees not paid, their social security contributions suffer and therefore SSNIT would run with some shortfalls. 

It is against this backdrop that one would salute SSNIT for coming out so quickly to refute the ILO allegations and consequently putting confidence in its beneficiaries as well as its contributors. Surely, the proactive and prudent management behind the sustainability of the funds to date, could not have been fruitless whether for now or for the future. The sustained efforts of the scheme's managers have been awesome, especially of late.

Having been on the scheme for over a decade, my pension gets credited to my account every fourth Thursday of the month without fail. One even manages to get consistent annual increments. And so to some of us retirees, the reassurance from the scheme managers would be credited to their trustworthiness and indeed responsiveness.

From the horse's own mouth, therefore, it is exhilarating to hear that there are funds to pay pensions now and into the future. 

Thank you SSNIT for the assurance to all pensioners on your scheme and indeed to all

current contributors that you would have resources enough to meet your financial commitments to beneficiaries even beyond 2036. One would continue to watch the space with a vested interest.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.