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General News of Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Source: GNA

Low salaries, a major cause of low pension benefits

Wa, July 6, GNA - Low salaries paid by employers to their employees is a major contributor to the low pension benefits paid to some retirees in Ghana. Mr Abudu Abudul-Karimu, the Wa Branch Manager of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) who said this to the GNA on Tuesday, said the payment of pensions in Ghana were based on three variables. These include the salary, number of months of contribution and the age of the contributor.

He said SSNIT contributors should know that the amount they receive from their employers as salary would determine how high or low their pensio= n benefits would reach. Mr Abudul-Karimu advised workers to fight for better salaries from their employers to enable them retire with better pension benefits. He said the highest paid SSNIT pensioner in the Upper West Region was receiving GH¢12,185.01 monthly, saying such a person received high salary from his private employers.

Mr Abudu-Karimu mentioned the survivors' lump sum, the invalidity benefits and the pension itself as the three types of claims paid by SSNIT to their clients.

He said the 2.5 percent paid to the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) by SSNIT on behalf of their clients was not deducted from their pension benefits when they retired. He therefore advised SSNIT contributors to regularly visit their offic= e to update their records to avoid any discrepancies when they retire.