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16.06.2004 Regional News

Employers urged to declare the correct salaries of their employees

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Cape Coast, June 16, GNA - The Social Security and National Insurance Trust's (SSNIT) area manager for Western and Central regions, Barima Ansu-Adjei I, on Wednesday called on employers to declare and pay the correct salaries of their workers to SSNIT to enable their employees to earn good pension on their retirement.

He pointed out that, most people earn very low pension because their employers under paid their contributions to the scheme and urged such employers to desist from the practice, since it was making the SSNIT pension scheme unpopular.

Barima Ansu-Adjei, made the call at a 'SSNIT - Employers' seminar' at Cape Coast under the theme "Assisting SSNIT to Ensure Prompt and Accurate Payment of Benefits".

The seminar was designed to update participants on current developments concerning the social security pension scheme. He was unhappy that some employers were still paying their workers very low salaries, stressing that some of them even pay less than the minimum wage, this he said made it difficult for such workers to contribute something meaningful towards their pension.

The area manager tasked employers to endeavour to register all their workers and ensure that SSNIT is fed with the appropriate information on their employees to ensure prompt and accurate payment of benefits.

He said it was an offence punishable by law for an employer not to submit an employees' contribution to SSNIT at the end of every month, stressing that they should be able to update the financial data of their workers.

On Cap 30 and the SSNIT pension scheme, he said SSNIT was a better option and that workers should rather agitate for higher salaries to contribute enough towards their pension.

Barima Ansu-Adjei said unlike SSNIT, if one is sacked under the Cap 30, he does not qualify for any pension and advised workers to operate more than one pension to enable them save enough for their retirement.

Mr Kweku Osei-Bimpong Head of Public Affair said, since the establishment of SSNIT 39 years ago, it has under gone a number of changes, adding, a five-year strategic plan has been put in place to develop the scheme into 'world class financial institution'. He said it was in this vain that the scheme has joined other international schemes to improve upon their services both locally and at the international level.

Mr Osei-Bimpong said the current 'Age 54 Pension Sscheme' being operated by the scheme was to prepare workers towards their retirement and not to force people to retire as being alleged. He called for cooperation and support from employers to enable SSNIT to operate an effective and quality social security service to its customers.

On the recovery of students loan, he said SSNIT was now using students' contributions to offset the loans to reduce the burden on guarantors, where in some cases people loss their pension just because they guaranteed for someone.

The participants were taken through topics like 'The Obligation of the Employer under PNDC Law 247', Problems with Enforcement of Compliance and The New SSNIT.

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