The National Pensioners Association (NPA) of Ghana has heaped praises on the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) over the latter’s announcement on Friday of a 25% hike in monthly pensions for 2023, up from the 10% for 2022.
General-Secretary of the Association, Mr Stephen Boakye was full of commendation for SSNIT for the increment, saying “we never thought of getting a 25% increment from the previous 10% received during the COVID-19 period.”
In an interview with journalists in Accra at the end of a press conference organised by SSNIT to announce the 2023 pension indexation, Mr Boakye praised the leadership of SSNIT for the increment, saying, “this is good news.”
SSNIT in consultation with the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA), reviewed monthly pensions upwards by 25% for 2023 in line with Section 80 of the National Pensions Act 2008 (Act 766).
Mr Boakye pledged the Association’s readiness to reinforce its outreach programmes aimed at getting employers to commit to paying pension deductions religiously since “most of them have not been paying their employees’ pension deductions, a development that can badly affect them after retirement.”
Briefing the journalists, Chief Actuary at SSNIT Mr Joseph Poku, said all pensioners on the SSNIT Pension Payroll as of December 31, 2022, would have their monthly pension increased by a fixed rate of 19 per cent plus a redistributed flat amount of GH¢73.58.
Mr Poku explained that the redistribution was a mechanism applied to the indexation rate to cushion low-earning pensioners in conformity with the solidarity principle of social security.
According to him, the review was informed by wage inflation, consumer price index for the year, liquidity, and long-term sustainability.
He said the effective increase in pensions would range from 19.05% for the highest-earning pensioner to 43.53% for the lowest-earning pensioner.
“The highest-earning pensioner as of December 31, 2022, will receive GH¢169,725.89 per month in 2023,” he disclosed.
Meanwhile, the lowest-earning pensioner as of December 31, 2022, will have his / her monthly pension increased from GH¢ 300 to GH¢ 430.58 in 2023.
Director-General of SSNIT, Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang, revealed that in 2022, the Scheme was able to register some 214, 000 new members.
The Scheme, the SSNIT Boss disclosed had disbursed GH¢4billion in benefits to pensioners, stressing the Trust was committed to paying benefits promptly to all beneficiaries on its pay roll.
He reiterated calls on Ghanaians in the informal sector to enroll onto SSNIT and enjoy the benefits.
SSNIT, he indicated had gone around the country and educated Ghanaians that “it is in your interest as an informal sector person or self-employed person to come and join SSNIT and benefit from the next generation paying part of your pensions.”
Dr Ofori-Tenkorang announced that the Trust had put in place a fully functioning Mobile Money platform exempted from the electronic levy which could receive SSNIT contributions.
“We needed to set up electronic payment platforms to allow people to remit monies to the Trust in a very simple fashion because most of these people process their own pay roll, they are their own employers and so they don’t want to leave their workplaces,” he explained.