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Life expectancy of SSNIT contributors keep increasing-SSNIT

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By Isaac Arkoh, GNA

www.ghanareaders.com

Cape Coast, April 08, GNA – Regardless of the widely held notion on decreasing life expectancy among Ghanaians, the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), said its statistics indicated a reverse of the situation. 

It observed a steady rise in life expectancy of contributors aged 72 which was eight per cent in 2002, 18 per cent in 2010 and 25 per cent in 2020.

Likewise, the percentage of contributors aged 80, had risen from one per cent in 2002 to two per cent in 2010 and seven per cent in 2020.

Mr Joseph Poku, Chief Actuary with SSNIT who revealed this at a stakeholders’ engagement in Cape Coast on Friday, attributed the phenomenon to among others, better health care and hygiene, healthier lifestyles, sufficient food and improved medical care.

The forum followed similar engagements in the Western, Bono, Greater Accra, Upper East, Upper West and Northern Regions held to enable stakeholders buy-in and support towards the extension of coverage of the SSNIT Scheme to the self-employed and workers in the informal sector.

It was on the theme: “Expanding pension coverage to the self-employed and informal sector worker.”

Mr Poku noted that reduced child mortality meant people were expected to live much longer than our ancestors just a few generations ago.

“It is the assumption of the Scheme that its contributors will live up to 15 years after retirement, but some pensioners live well above the assumption age putting some stress on the fund, but SSNIT is equal to the task,” he said.

As an employee, one contributes 5.5percent of one’s basic salary whilst the employer adds up 13 percent of the same amount as payment to the fund.

Towards expanding the scheme, Mr Poku observed that the country’s social protection system supported only 14,314 self-employed workers who contributed to the Scheme, representing some 0.8 per cent of the 1.7 million contributors of the scheme.

In all, there were about 11.5 million people in the informal sector in the country.

He said it had become necessary to extend coverage to the informal sector worker, not only to increase active membership and contributors to the scheme but also ensure that every worker in the country enjoyed social protection.

This would increase the number of insured persons to provide income replacement for every worker in the country, therefore, reducing poverty and over-dependency on family, relations and friends for support during old age.

“That is why we are now paying more attention to our friends who are self-employed. The feedback we receive clearly shows very little understanding among players in the informal sector of how the SSNIT scheme operates,” he said.

Mr Poku also described as erroneous the perception that people lost the value of their money when they insured their future incomes with SSNIT.

He said it was for that reason, among others, that SSNIT had decided to reach out and educate the people, through various channels, on the benefits of the scheme to encourage them to come on board to secure their future incomes.

SSNIT is a statutory public institution charged under the National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766 as amended by Act 883) 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 SSNIT scheme replaces part of the lost income of members due to old age, invalidity or upon the death of a member, where nominated dependant(s) receive a lump sum payment. 

During the open forum, the Chief Fisherman of Egyaa, Nana Kwame Ababio and Madam Doris Abaidoo, a representative from Ghana National Dressmakers and Tailors Association described the engagement as fruitful and pleaded with SSNIT to extend its services to the doorsteps of workers in the informal sector.

GNA

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