Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang is the Director General of SSNIT

The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has assured its contributors of settling all benefits due to them and their validly nominated dependants.

In a statement released by the management of the Trust, it noted that the Scheme presently has enough reserves to “ensure prudent management of funds to enhance the long term sustainability of the Scheme.”

The statement was in relation to an actuarial valuation report by the Africa Centre for Retirement Research (ACRR) in 2017 which noted that the government’s indebtedness to the scheme, growing numbers of pensioners, growing amounts paid pensioners, employer indebtedness, among others, continued to threaten the long-term sustainability of the defined benefit scheme as run by the trust.

The ACCR subsequently made a call to Parliament for the upward review of the current SSNIT contribution of 11 per cent and a law to mandate the scheme to present its actuarial valuation reports to Parliament for scrutiny to save the scheme from becoming insolvent.

The Centre also proposed to Parliament for persons with strong financial and investments backgrounds to be appointed as board members.

But in a response, the Trust said it has taken note of the concerns raised by the Africa Centre for Retirement Research (ACRR) and efforts are being made to address them accordingly.

Reacting to employer indebtedness raised by the ACCR, the Scheme urged employers to pay the social security contributions of their workers by December 14, 2021 to avoid paying penalties.

The statement added that “however, where employers fail to do so, they have the option to negotiate terms of settlement. Management of SSNIT initiates court action against defaulting employers who fail to take advantage of negotiations.”

The Trust noted that management has not relented in its efforts to retrieve all arrears owed the Trust by employers to improve the sustainability of the Scheme.

For instance, it said “as of September 2021, 7,951 criminal cases were pending in court against defaulting employers. Also, over 500 employers including Government, have arranged for terms of settlement.”

SSNIT indicated that the government since 2017 has paid GHS5.77 billion to clear social security contributions owed by successive governments.

Meanwhile, the Director-General, Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang has expressed worry over the huge number of inactive contributors on their database.

Speaking at the 2021 Operations Conference of SSNIT under the theme: ‘Ensuring sustainability of the SSNIT Scheme, through effective and efficient operational business processes; leveraging modern and reliable technology,’ he hinted that, in spite of the 56-year existence of the Trust, only 1.7 million out of the over 5 million registered members are active contributors, a situation he says needs to be remedied.

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