The Social Security and National Insurance Scheme (SSNIT) has merged the identity of a total of more than 1.9 million beneficiaries to the National Identification Card (Ghana Card), Mr. Joseph Poku, the Chief Actuary at SSNIT, has disclosed.
Mr. Poku said the merger was done between June 28, 2021, to June 30, 2022, during which systems were deployed to allow members to merge their SSNIT and NIA.
He said this during a stakeholder engagement organized by SSNIT in collaboration with the national executive of the Ghana Trades Union Congress for members and leaders of the Greater Accra Council of Labour in Tema.
He noted that out of the figure, 383,200 were pensioners and lump sum beneficiaries while 1,246,639 were active members, and 293,010 were inactive members.
He explained that inactive members were those who had not contributed to the scheme in the last 12 months even though they were registered.
Mr Poku indicated that from July 2022, the Ghana Card was the only identification recognized by the scheme and, therefore, urged members who were yet to merge their numbers to do so.
He noted that some of the benefits of merging the numbers included its convenience, ease of doing business with just one number, and the elimination of the cost of printing cards.
Giving insight into the activities of the scheme, he said currently 25 percent of workers on the SSNIT scheme pay monthly contributions of GHs55 or less, adding that if these workers were to retire on the basic salaries of GHs500 or less, they would earn a monthly pension of GHs300.
He explained that pensions were a direct reflection of the basic salaries on which contributions were paid, therefore the higher the salaries on which people contribute, the higher the pension, noting that the longer the period of contribution, the higher the pension for those who contributed 35 years and above earn the maximum pension right of 60 percent.
Mr. Patrick Tetteh Binyemi, the Greater Accra Regional Council of Labour, TUC underscored the importance of extending the compulsory retirement age from 60 to 65 years.
Mr. Binyemi explained that there was an urgent need to consider reviewing the pension age to enable workers to contribute more and enjoy enhanced pensions upon retirement.
“We must also negotiate with our employers to ensure that a chunk of our earnings goes into payment of SSNIT contribution to enable our members to earn a meaningful pension,” he added.
Mr. Joshua Ansah, the Deputy Secretary-General of the TUC, said the suggestion on the need to consolidate basic salaries with allowances was welcomed.
Mr. Ansah urged workers to prioritize their pension the moment they were employed, emphasizing that workers must learn from what happened to some of their predecessors.