12.05.2005 General News

SSNIT appeal to pensioners to exercise restraint

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Accra, May 12, GNA - Mr Kwasi Osei, Director General of Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), on Thursday said the Presidential Commission on pensions was working out a comprehensive report towards the improvement of pension schemes in the country. He said because SSNIT was concerned about the level of pension, it had reviewed the minimum pensions from 15,000 cedis to 125,000 with a minimum lump sum of between two million cedis and seven million cedis and minimum survivors benefits of 10 million cedis.

Mr Osei, who was speaking at a Second National Delegates' Conference of SSNIT National Pensioners Association, therefore appealed to the members to exercise restraint as the Commission worked out strategies that would help to improve the scheme. He said the SNNIT would continue to improve on the management of the fund to ensure the solvency of the scheme, adding; "the trend for the past couple of years shows that we are recording positive real returns".

SSNIT has submitted the list of all its pensioners to the National Health Insurance Secretariat and was working closely with the Secretariat to ensure the registration of SSNIT Pensioners. He said a case has been made to the Presidential Commission for the Association to be represented on the SSNIT Board. He also said was work was far advanced to move the Pensioners Association from the third floor to the second floor of the SSNIT Office at Adabraka.

Mr A. T. D. Okine, General Secretary of Public Service Workers Union, said the mode of calculation of pension in the country was not the best and called for a second look at computing pension earnings, especially the SSNIT Pension Scheme to meet current economic trends. He said the cry of most public employees to opt out of the SSNIT Pension in favour of the CAP 30 called for sober reflection on the Scheme.

He said there was the need to review the death expectancy age in the computation of retirement benefit for pensioners. He added that, notwithstanding, the ongoing Presidential Commission on Pensions: "I would venture to state that there was the need to enhance the lump sum paid to SSNIT Pensioners."

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