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Business News of Friday, 22 September 2017


Be vigilant on SSNIT’s operations - Lawyer tasks contributors

A legal practitioner and partner at Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa and Ankomah law firm, Ms Angela Akosua Gyasi, has tasked pension contributors to take keen interest in the management of their funds by ensuring that they are in tune with how and what their deductions are invested in.

The extra vigilance is needed to put managers of the tier one pension funds, the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), on its feet to act right and in the interest of contributors, Ms Gyasi, who is in-charge of pensions, employment and immigration at the private firm said.

She was speaking on the law on pensions at the Graphic Business/Stanbic Bank Breakfast Meeting in Accra.

While admitting that the country has good laws to regulate the pensions industry, she said limited enforcement and interest in the affairs of SSNIT were denying retirees of enjoying better retirement benefits hence, the need for contributors to take keener interest in the trust’s .

“It is time to subject SSNIT to the rigorous supervision that pension fund trustees and the management of their occupational pension schemes and the provident fund schemes are going through right now,” the lawyer said, referring to institutions licensed to manage tier two and three contributions.

She said under the law, contributors were able to demand SSNIT’s investment policy at any time and thus, advised them to request such information to help inform them on what line of action to take in protecting their contributions.

“We should be able to see our investment grow or else from the perspective of a contributor, I feel that my money goes into a pool and disappears and after 60 years, I am paid something at the end of every month,” she said.

Tasking SSNIT

At the meeting, which was chaired by the Chief Executive Officer of the National Pensions Authority, Mr Hayford Atta Krufi, some participants observed that SSNIT had been let loose to operate as it likes for far too long.

They argued that the trust had over the years not been transparent and accountable about the nature of investments with monies from contributors.

The Assin Fosu Nifahemaa, Dr Nana Appeatuaa, accused SSNIT of treating contributors and their contributions with contempt.

“Pensioners are in a sorry state yet SSNIT is using our monies for unnecessary investments. They have put up a building near Vivian Farms at Lashibi, which is a waterlogged area all because of what somebody will chop.”

“Who is going to buy such a house for SSNIT to benefit,” she said.

She further called for SNNIT to be investigated so that contributors will know what the Trust does with contributions.

In an apparent response, Ms Gyasi said contributors could take the Trust to task for it to report to them what their monies had been used for.

Can NPRA bite?

A former Managing Director of SIC Company Limited, MD of ALLSTAR Insurance Brokers, Mr Peter Osei Duah, said SSNIT seemed powerful than the regulator and which needed to be changed to a situation where it would be clear that SSNIT had to report to the NPRA.

“People will be very happy to be put on the board of SSNIT than to be on the NPRA although the latter is a higher authority.”

“We need to empower the regulator to be able to summon the managers of SSNIT and query them when need be,” he said.

He also emphasised the need for contributors to take keen interest in what SSNIT was doing with their monies as it impacted on the sustainability of the scheme.

Regulator assures

The Chief Executive Officer of the NPRA, Mr Hayford Atta Krufi, assured the authority was not sitting unconcerned about recent happenings, especially in the media, but have summoned the management of SSNIT to explain some of the concerns.