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General News of Thursday, 2 May 2019

Source: citinewsroom.com

Highest paid pensioner earns GHC55,000 a month – SSNIT boss

The highest paid pensioner for 2019 earns 55,000 Ghana cedis a month, with the second person earning 50,000 Ghana cedis.

This was disclosed by the Director General of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Dr. John Ofori-Tenkorang on Citi TV‘s Point of View show on Wednesday.

He, however, said the number of people who earn around such amount does not constitute 1% of the pension benefits SSNIT handles.

“My highest paid pensioner earns about 55,000 Ghana cedis a month, that’s for 2019, the next one is 50,000, [and] the next one is 45,000. The percentage of people who earn such is very minimal, it is less than 1% of the pensioners,” he said.

There have been complaints about low pension payments with many accusing the Trust of shortchanging pensioners.

But Dr. Tenkorang said the benefits are based on the contributions and salaries of workers, meaning what people get from SSNIT depends on what they put in.

“The benefits that are prescribed by law under the SSNIT pension schemes anchors the benefits that you pay on the salary on which you contributed. So if you contribute on low salary or dodge your contribution, you should not expect to get more. You will get what you put in,” he said.

He said the lowest pension paid in 2019 was 300 Ghana Cedis.

He attributed the low pension payments to the failure of some employers and employees to contribute enough while in active service.

According to Dr. John Ofori Tenkorang, the current situation is not a deliberate attempt by the Trust to deprive pensioners what is due them.

On International Workers’ Day, yesterday [Wednesday] organized labour in Ghana took to the streets to protest poor conditions of service.

The placards focused on inadequate pension benefits were in line with the theme for this year’s May Day Celebration, “Sustainable Pensions for All: The Role of Social Partners”

There have been concerns that most pensioners are unable to live decent lives because the pension benefits provided them by the state institution are woefully inadequate.



Resolve pension issues within three months – Nana Addo to Employment Ministry

President Nana Akufo-Addo on Wednesday tasked the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations to resolve all pension-related issues within the next three months.

The Ministry is to work with SSNIT and the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA).

Addressing the 2019 May Day Celebration on Wednesday at the Black Star Square, President Akufo-Addo noted the critical contribution of labour to economic growth.

“We will build a robust economy and a prosperous society when we put in place a sustainable pension scheme for all workers. For far too long, many of our people, the end of their lives are marked by poverty. Too many people either have no pensions at all or have inadequate pensions to match the needs of old age,” the President said.

In the informal sectors of the economy, President Akufo-Addo lamented that “most people work without any thought to pension coverage, and when they no longer have the strength to work, their lives become miserable.”

With about 90% of workers operating in the informal sector, the President indicated that attention must be focused on extending access to that sector in compliance with the National Pension law.