Need To Safeguard Operations of SSNIT

Five per cent of salaries of trustees, custodians and managers of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) should be deducted and put aside as insurance for retired workers. Mr. Kodwo Ahlijah, former General Manager Finance of the SSNIT, who made the call on Tuesday, suggested that such deductions should be put under the control of the Bank of Ghana, to cover any collapse or misappropriation of funds, belonging to contributors to insurance schemes. He said in the event of misappropriation of moneys belonging to pensioners or contributors to insurance schemes, fines and surcharges awarded were not enough to cover the amount lost. Mr. Ahlijah was addressing Retired SSNIT Staff Association at a symposium in Accra, on the theme: �The Investments of Social Security Funds, the thought of our fore-fathers, � in Accra. �A pensioner or retiree is only interested in his lump sum of money on the due date and not interested in the punishment of defaulters - be it imprisonment or fines,� Mr. Ahlijah said He said though there were tough legal regulatory measures to safeguard the SSNIT scheme, abuses occurred and very few pensioners could survive when abuses occur. Mr. Ahlijah said the provisions covering misappropriation or abuses of pension fund should be amended. He explained that because such investments, being managed and controlled by private companies could collapse or be misappropriated either through external factors, malfeasance or other acts of abuse on the past of trustees in connivance with custodians and managers. Mr. Ahlijah said according to Pension Act 2008 (Act 766) as it affects the tier two investments, five per cent of monthly salaries of SSNIT contributors should be managed privately as occupational pension by approved trustees. He called for an amendment to the law and said: �We need to give our pensioners hope and assurance for the future as envisaged by our fore-fathers�. Speaking on regulatory measures put in place to safeguard social security funds and investments, Nana Atta Pannin, Chief Executive Officer of National Pension Regulatory Authority, advised the public to be very careful about investment schemes which do not provide better income for retirement and other related benefits. He said the three-tier scheme has come to stay and SSNIT contributors should not panic. Nana Pannin explained that if one retired before January 1, 2010, he or she does not have any contributions with NPRA and those who retired after that date would have their moneys paid to them in due course .