The Director General of the Social Security and Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Mr. Ernest Thompson has stated that SSNIT has as an institution has contributed immensely to the social-economic development of this country.
He explained, the growth of the economy cannot be complete without the role that SSNIT plays in transforming the economy.
‘’The whole idea of the SSNIT pension fund is to assist with the growth of the economy,’’ he said.
According to him most developed countries have developed because of the role their security fund has played and therefore it will be important for us as a nation to take note of that.
He admonished Ghanaians to see the pension fund as a tool to help the economy grow.
He indicated that societies across the world today, see the social protection fund as an opportunity to solve societal problems and challenges.
‘’ Societies look to social security systems for their contribution to solving current and future social, economic, demographic and other challenges”, he said, and quoted the International Social Security and Association (ISSA) which said “social security is now perceived as an integral part of political strategy that seek to achieve inclusive social and productive economies”.
Mr. Ernest Thompson assured contributors of the funds commitment to serve them better because ‘’the trust has grown financially and has adequate financial reserves to meet future obligations,’’ he added.
The scheme has about 1.2 million contributors with the private sector as a major stakeholder who by law are mandated to pay contributions on behalf of their employees.
The scheme on a monthly basis gives out an amount of GHC 3.5 million to about 148, 000 pensioners across the country a significant improvement over 971 in 1992 when the scheme was established.
Mr. Thompson has therefore assured contributors of enhanced and better services especially for the aging population.
The scheme is currently undertaking some developmental projects including the construction of a children’s library, 40 community police stations across the country and a sports complex at Odododiodoo Constituency in Accra which according to the Director will create jobs for the youth in the community and also enhance the health and fitness of the residents.
The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) is a statutory public Trust charged with the administration of Ghana's National Pension Scheme. The Trust is currently the biggest non-bank financial institution in the country.
It's primary responsibility is to replace part of lost income due to Old Age, Invalidity and payment of Survivors' benefits to deceased dependants.
The Pension Scheme administered by SSNIT has a registered active membership of over 1.2 million and over 140, 000 pensioners who collect their monthly pension from SSNIT.
WHAT IT DOES
The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) is governed by the National Pensions Act 2008, (Act 766) which has a contributory 3-tier Pension Scheme with SSNIT operating the Mandatory first-tier scheme.
The contribution rates are
Employers - 13% of workers basic salary
Workers - 5.5% of workers basic salary
Total 18.5%. Of this 13.5% is remitted to Mandatory first tier managed by SSNIT and 5% to the Mandatory second tier privately managed occupational scheme.
Core functions of the Trust:
Be responsible for the general administration of the Social Security Scheme and any regulations under it.
Provide income protection for the contributors under specified contingencies, e.g. Superannuation Pension, Invalidity Pension and Survivor's Lump sum, and such other contingencies as may be specified by Law.
Be responsible for the management of the fund and
Carry out any other activities incidental to the realisation of its objectives.
HOW THE TRUST WORKS
The core business activities are decentralized with most of the functions carried out in 50 Branches, monitored by eight (8) Area Offices and supervised by the Operations Co-ordinator. The Management of the fund is at the Head Office.
The scheme is self-financing through the contributions of members and returns on the investments of the funds. Â The contribution rate is 18.5% (worker - 5.5%, employer 13.0%) of the earnings of a member.
The Trust has been in Social Security Business since 1965. In 1998 it won the "Good Corporate Citizen Award". It is a member of the International Social Security Association (ISSA) which is affiliated to the International Labour Organisation (ILO). The Trust is the first Social Security Organisation to go Pension in Africa South of the Sahara.