Mr. Charles Akwei Garshong, SSNIT’s Acting Public Affairs Officer, has revealed that workers who do not merge their SSNIT numbers with Ghana Card by December 31, 2021, will be unable to access social security-related information through SSNIT.
Mr. Garshong averred that employers will be required to process contribution reports and make payments using only their employees’ NIA numbers beginning in 2022 should they fail to comply with the directive.
The trust encouraged its members to link their Ghana cards to the scheme for all social security services before December 31, 2021. According to the Trust, if members accept this policy, it will make life easier for both sides.
Mr. Garshong emphasized the value of the Ghana Card, stating that after the merger, members will no longer need to carry two cards because one will suffice. He further stated that the merging will prevent members of the trust from having to memorize both the SSNIT and Ghana card numbers because one will be enough.
“The use of Ghana card will also enable nominated dependents of deceased members to be easily identified as it will avoid unnecessary delays, reduce fraud and impersonation in processing and paying survivors’ benefits.
“Despite it being a legal requirement and a directive from the National Pensions Regulatory Authority, the use of Ghana card will also eliminate the cost associated with the print of SSNIT biometric cards as the printing of the SSNIT cards comes as a cost to the member.”Mr. Garshong
Low Ghana Card Merger in the Northern Region
Festus Darko Preko, the Tamale Area Manager for SSNIT, claims that the Northern Region’s low merger rate is due to the lack of Ghanacard. He intimated that Only 30% of eligible persons in the Northern sector have complied with the instruction with only weeks until the deadline for members of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to merge their numbers with their National Identification Authority (NIA) numbers.
“Since the introduction of the directive, however, only 30 percent of SSNIT members in the Northern sector are said to have had their cards merged. The low registration is attributed to the inability of many to register and get access to the NIA cards.”Festus Darko Preko
To address the issue, he said the Trust has begun a series of awareness campaigns to ensure that employees and contributors sign up for the card, which will allow them to access their SSNIT numbers.
“SSNIT is reminding employers to ensure their staff register for the NIA cards and impress upon them the importance of merging the accompanying numbers with their social security numbers.”Festus Darko Preko
The change was made to guarantee that services are delivered in a timely and effective manner. In June, SSNIT deployed systems that allow members of the Scheme to merge both numbers, in accordance with directives from the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA), which requires the use of the NIA card, also known as the Ghana Card, as the primary means of identification for transactions pertaining to individuals in respect of pensions.
This, according to the Trust, will be required to access information starting in 2022 and to provide members with convenience and comfort in all interactions with the Trust.