The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) is to intensify its initiative aimed at roping in more informal sector and self-employed persons in Ghana onto the state-run Tier One pension scheme.
Riding on the successes of last year when it launched the Self Employed Enrolment Drive (SEED), SSNIT believes that a more aggressive approach to push the initiative will attract more people in that bracket to secure them a better future when they retire.
The Director-General of SSNIT, Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang, who announced the Trust’s resolve last Thursday, said “We have developed a good initiative that will help many people to guarantee a better future in retirement and we must sustain the campaign this year and beyond.”
The number of self-employed persons on the SSNIT more than quadrupled in the last two quarters of last year.
From about 14,200 in May, the number sharply rose to over 57,000 as of last month, with more preparing to come on board.
SSNIT attributed the feat to an aggressive campaign by the management of the state-run pension scheme, a move which is expected to be intensified this year and beyond.
The campaign is aimed at roping a large number of workers in the informal sector of the economy into the scheme.
The director-general said although SSNIT had been able to work to enrol tens of thousands of self-employed persons onto the scheme within a short period, the task ahead was still arduous, adding that “we will not relent but continue to push harder to increase the numbers into the hundreds of thousands and the millions per our laid down plan of action because we see the potential”.
The National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) estimates that about 600,000 of the 6.7 million self-employed people in the country have some form of pension cover.
This implies that a whopping 6.1 million self-employed persons do not have any form of pension cover and that is what the managers of the tier one pension scheme intend to leverage.
On the sustainability of the pension scheme, Dr Ofori-Tenkorang reiterated the efforts of the managers of the scheme to ensure that the pension scheme, which is heavily relied on by workers, formal and informal, is sustained.
He said the scheme was solvent and viable and indicated that it was the responsibility of the Trust to ensure that despite the challenges from various quarters, the scheme is sustained as one of the best state-run pension schemes on the continent.
The SSNIT director-general mentioned, for instance, the SEED initiative and noted that the scheme as it stands now could even be made better if more joined, hence the campaign.
He said SSNIT was also ensuring that its investments were performing to their optimum to return the funds needed to continually honour its obligations to workers on pension.
Dr Ofori-Tenkorang said much as some of the investments of SSNIT were not performing as expected, those equities were minute, “however, we are working around the clock to determine the appropriate action to take in the best interest of the scheme”, he assured.
He again made a case for those who have not joined the scheme to do so and not use negative speculations about the management of the scheme to stay away.