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Business News of Friday, 23 October 2015

Source: B&FT

SSNIT gets tough on defaulters

The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has intensified efforts to retrieve all contributions being held by employers across the country.

“It is obvious that the Trust has grown financially and has adequate financial reserves to meet future obligations. The aging population structure demands an increasing larger inflow of resources to cater for our elderly pensioners,” Ernest Thompson, Director-General, said at the launch of SSNIT’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

“It is against this background that the scheme cannot countenance delays in contribution payment, and intensifies sourcing for more workers to contribute to the scheme.”

In the Greater Accra Region, the Trust is in court with some high-profile employers who have failed to honour their employees’ contribution to the scheme.

The Trust has also secured bench-warrants for the arrest of directors and owners of 17 companies, for defaulting in the deduction and payment of their employees’ social security contributions.

The entities, according to the Trust, were indebted to the tune of GH¢39million as at the end of December 2012.

The Trust last February was able to retrieve an amount of GH¢960,410 from defaulting employers, and has initiated court action against other defaulting companies in the Central and Western Regions.

The defaulting entities in the Western and Central Regions include schools, oil companies, and heavy-duty equipment rental companies.

As at February 2013, outstanding payments to the Trust stood at GH¢426million -- of which private establishments owed GH¢88million and the Controller and Accountant-General owed GH¢302million.

Ernest Thompson further indicated that efforts are underway to rope-in more workers, as the percentage of the population above 55 years is increasing.

With a large number of active contributors falling into the 55 years-plus band, younger working people are needed to maintain the scheme’s financial strength.

The structure of the country’s estimated population of 26 million shows that about 10 percent of them is 55 years or older, while ninety (90) percent of the population is under 55 years. However, the Trust has about 1.2 million contributors with 48,800 establishments.

“I hereby call on all and sundry to develop strong belief in the Social Security Scheme of Ghana, and trust that with SSNIT workers’ happiness in retirement is assured; because the pension is regular and appreciates every year,” Mr. Thompson said.

The scheme is undertaking three major community projects to mark the scheme’s 50th anniversary.

“We are undertaking three monumental community projects -- a children’s library, 40 Police Community Stations to be built across the country, and a sports complex to be sited in the Odododiodio constituency of Accra,” Mr. Thompson said.