IN SPITE of a 26.52 percent increase in total arrears owed the Social Security & National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) by some establishments in 2007, it realised an amount of GH¢384.97 million in total contributions for the period, representing a 34.23 percent rise over the previous year's figure of GH¢286.80 million.
The contributions was made up of GH¢197.48 million from private establishments and GH¢175.07 million from the Controller and Accountant General and GH¢12.42 million from subvented establishments.
Kwasi Osei, Director General of SSNIT, who made these known in a report at the Trust's 4th Stakeholders' Forum in Accra, attributed the increase in contributions to new members who joined the scheme, salary arrears for workers of the educational sector, accumulated salary arrears for newly recruited employees in the private sector and also increase in earnings of contributors.
He commended the services sector as it has the highest number of establishments and contributors. “This is a reflection of the economy in terms of the sectors with higher growth.
The sector accounted for 53.9 percent and 70.2 percent respectively of the total number of establishments and contributors under the scheme in 2007.”
At the end of 2007, Mr Osei said, 27, 980 establishments were covered under the scheme indicating an increase of 11.3 percent over the 2006 figure of 25, 132 while also 3,953 new establishments and 102, 567 new workers were registered into the scheme.
SSNIT also paid out GH¢117.08 million as benefits to contributors in 2007 representing an increase of 46.59 percent over the 2006 payment of GH¢79.87 million.
Also, a total of 80, 952 pensioners were covered under the scheme during the period under review.
On student loan recoveries, SSNIT recorded GH¢8.57 million in 2007 with the cumulative recoveries from 1989 to 2007 being GH¢62.5 million, including recoveries from the GET FUND. Total amount outstanding was GH¢167.7 million while actual disbursement and interest accrued on amounts disbursed since inception amounted to GH¢230.2 million.
SSNIT will however stop the administration of loans to students in the near future since the Student Loan Trust Fund (SLTF) has taken over that activity since the beginning of the 2006/2007 academic year.
John Saka Addo, Chairman of the SSNIT Board, in a report said SSNIT's total investment portfolio in 2007 grew by over 37 percent from GH¢1,195.2 million in 2006 to GH¢1639.8 million.
“Over the past five years, the SSNIT investment portfolio has grown over GH¢160 percent from GH¢630 million in 2003 to GH¢1639.8 million in 2007.
“We believe that the initiative is in the right direction since this comprehensive bill will go a long way to promote retirement income security for the Ghanaian worker.”
Total membership of the scheme at the end of 2007 was 1,230,908. This represented an increase of 1.59 percent over the 2006 figure of 1,211,620.
By Samuel Boadi