PROF. STEPHEN YEBOAH, CHIEF ACTUARY- SSNIT
The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) is a statutory public Trust charged under the National Pensions Act, 2008 Act 766 with the administration of Ghana’s Basic National Social Security Scheme. Its mandate is to cater for the First Tier of the Three-Tier Pension Scheme. The Trust is currently the largest non-bank financial institution in Ghana.
The primary responsibility of the Trust is to replace part of lost income of workers in Ghana due to Old Age, Invalidity or Death of a member where dependants receive lump sum payment. It is also responsible for the payment of Emigration benefit to a non-Ghanaian member who is leaving Ghana permanently.
The Pension Scheme as administered by SSNIT has a registered membership of over 1,471, 564 million as at June 2018 with over 190,079 pensioners who regularly receive their monthly pensions from SSNIT.
Contribution Rates under the Social Security Scheme ( Tier 1)
- – Employer – 13.0% from worker basic salary
- – Worker – 5.5% from workers basic salary
- – Total – 18.5%
- Out of the 18.5%, the employer remits 13.5% within 14 days of ensuing month to SSNIT. 5% is remitted to the Second-Tier Mandatory Occupational Scheme.
Four (4) Benefits
- Superannuation Pension
- Invalidity Pension
- Survivors Lump Sum
- Emigration Benefit
According to the 2015 SSNIT five(5) years consolidated report from 2011, Mr. Ernest Thompson, the former Director General reported that on average, the Portfolio’s Real Return on Investment (RROI) has exceeded the minimum Policy Benchmark of positive 3.25% as indicated by the long, medium and short-term performances. According to the 2011 external actuarial valuation of the Scheme, at 3.25% RROI, the Fund could be sustained till the year 2032 and at 1.25% (RROI) till the year 2030.
The Actuarial Review of the Scheme as at 31 December, 2011 concluded that, over a range of (but not all) possible scenarios, the existing assets and future contributions to the Scheme (at the rates set down in legislation) are, in normal circumstances, likely to be sufficient to pay benefits as they fall due over the period up to about 2030 and possibly beyond.
In Practice, changes to the legislation governing contribution rates and benefit amounts should enable the finances of the Scheme to be managed so that, in the long-term, assets and contribution income are sufficient to meet benefit expenditure.
It is therefore urgent call on Government to plan and sustain the scheme with rigorous Policies, since SSNIT happens to one of the major backbone of the company.
From the report the total establishment indebtedness to the Scheme at the end 2015 stood at GH¢640.89 million. Public Establishments (including Controller and Accountant General’s Department and Government Subvented Organisations) owed GH¢561.75 million whilst Private Establishments owed GH¢79.14 million.
This does not speak well of the government for the Scheme with the vision to be the model for Africa, but against all odds, the 2019 report will posits to be challenging but with the recent positive Economic Outlook, there is hope for the future.