NPRA Decides On SSNIT, TUC Fracas

Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang – SSNIT Boss

The impasse between the Trades Unions Congress (TUC) and Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has been referred to the National Pension Regulatory Authority (NPRA) for resolution.

Director-General of SSNIT, Dr. John Ofori Tenkorang, made this known to the media on Saturday, April 13, 2019, at Aburi in the Eastern Region

Dr. Tenkorang said, “Fortunately, NPRA has made some pronouncements on the matter last week, and we are waiting for the final settlement.”

It would be recalled that an eight-member committee set up by the Trades Union Congress to look into the current Pension Scheme identified gaps in the computation of pension benefits by SSNIT for its contributors.

The wrong computations, the TUC asserted, affected how SSNIT recognised annual salaries, determination of annuities (regular allowance payments) and early retirement reduction.

TUC’s report also faulted SSNIT for “wrong interpretation of what constitutes annual salary (36 months), early retirement reduction factor and annuity factor on lump sum.”

TUC said, “It’s strange to the PNDC Law 247 and must be scrapped.”

But Dr. Tenkorang said TUC’s position on the matter was inaccurate.

According to him, the current pension law has lacuna (gaps where there is no applicable law) as far as benefit payment is concerned.

He revealed that “though TUC has alleged that SSNIT has gotten the computation and the definition wrong, it is not the case that SSNIT cheats clients.”

The director general explained that “our stakeholders are the people who keep the scheme going. It’s their money and so if we cheat them that money doesn’t come into our pockets.”

“I think in general, there is some view out there that when people retire and their pension is not enough, they feel that they have been cheated,” he averred.

Dr. Tenkorang called for the restructure of the pension scheme in line with changes in income generation.

He said the definitions of contribution and work must be re-examined since “many people are becoming self-employed and off the national labour database.

According to him, “I am confident that if we do the right thing and engage our stakeholders, and people see the benefit of the SSNIT scheme, people will like to get involved.”

He gave assurance that SSNIT would intensify its public awareness and education campaigns going forward to inform many people about its operations.

By Melvin Tarlue