Dr Ofori Tenkorang, the Director-General of Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), has disclosed that the Trust is working on a programme that will rope in 1 million Ghanaians in the informal sector onto the SSNIT Scheme by next year, 2023.
The Director-General of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust made this known on the sidelines of a stakeholder engagement on the SSNIT’s planned campaign to extend coverage to the informal sector next year. Meanwhile, Dr Ofori Tenkorang lamented about the small representation of the informal sector on the Pension Scheme, noting that the 1 million informal sector target is part of efforts towards increasing pension penetration in the country. He stressed that his outfit is confident of achieving this set target while changing the existing narrative.
“From our own data, you find out that out of all the people that are in the informal sector who could have enrolled on our Pension Scheme, there is only about some 14,000 people who have signed up, which is very, very minimal. So, the terrain is wide open and this program that we are embarking on, my hope is that maybe a year after we have rolled out this campaign, we can get as much as about a million people.”Dr Ofori Tenkorang
Though, Dr Ofori Tenkorang admitted that the plan is an ambitious one, he implored the citizenry to change their mind-set about SSNIT and not see the institution as a “waste”.
“I know it’s a very aggressive target… People [informal sector] need to buy into the idea that they too can join this scheme. People need to disabuse themselves of the notion that giving your money to SSNIT is a waste, especially people in the informal sector who feel that they need the money now, not for some time later, which for them sometimes they think will never come.”Dr Ofori Tenkorang
Core Mandates of SSNIT
Dr Ofori Tenkorang asserted that SSNIT’s core mandate is to ensure that every Ghanaian, both formal and informal, goes on retirement with a benefit. “The Law and government created SSNIT to give future hope to Ghanaian workers so that in any event that Ghanaian workers can no longer work, SSNIT comes through for them every month till they meet their demise.”
“Irrespective of the occupation, every Ghanaian worker is entitled to be a beneficiary of SSNIT. Most of the time, Ghanaians have misunderstood the concept of SSNIT to be beneficial to just office workers. However, that is not the case. Once you’re a Ghanaian worker, the law makes it clear that you’re eligible to join SSNIT, so that once you are on retirement, you can receive your monthly pensions”.Dr Ofori Tenkorang
It is worth noting that out of the over 11 million workers in the country, less than 2 million of them are active SSNIT contributors. However, the informal sector dominates the yet to be registered fraction.
Recently, Charles Akwei Garshong, the Acting Public Affairs Manager for the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), also made a similar call when he stated that the Waakye seller, the fisherman, market women, and farmers all have the right to join SSNIT.