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23.08.2005 Business & Finance

Highest paid pensioner takes over ¢60m a month

Accra, Aug. 23, GNA - Ghana's highest pension beneficiary under the Social Security Insurance (SSNIT) scheme currently receives over 60 million cedis per month whereas the lowest earner takes less than 150,000 cedis.
Giving the statistics at a seminar for Chief Executives and senior officers of Government departments paid by the Controller and Accountant Generals Department and heads of Government's subvented organisations, Mr Thomas Agawu, General Manager, Operations (SSNIT) said the huge disparity stemmed from the differences in the level of peoples' pay. He said: "The highest pension in the system is 66,803,192.99 cedis and the lowest this year is 125,000 cedis."
He noted that the number of pensioners on payroll as at June 2005 was 69,841, which included 717 disabilities.
Mr Agawu said the major problem facing the Scheme was wrong date of birth, which largely had contributed to the delay in the processing of members' benefits.
He said analysis carried out had shown that most people had their birth dates reduced mainly because they did not attach much seriousness to it in the early days of registration with the scheme.
Mr Agawu said, another teething problem was the unavailability of the list of those civil servants under CAP 30 saying: "We have to clearly identify those on CAP 30 and those not contributing to the scheme."
Besides, he said even though the Controller and Accountant General's Department paid contributions on behalf of subvented organisations, the problem still existed for submission of data.
Mr Kwasi Osei, Director-General of the SSNIT, said the Department and subvented establishments constituted an umbrella group with the highest mark of the SSNIT Scheme.
He said that with the current total contributors of 649,334, more than 300, 000 members belonged to those on the payroll of the Controller and Accountant General and subvented organisations alone, hence their role largely impacted on SSNIT activities.
Mr Osei said from January to July this year, the Scheme had received 425 billion cedis from them.
He reiterated that Project 54, which aimed at cleansing the financial data of members prior to their retirement age, quality customer services as well as partnership building were some of measures being pursued to inject efficiency into the scheme.
Mr Osei said there was also the need to frequently carry out reconciliation of accounts and correspondence to address the problems in the future.
The seminar was aimed at involving stakeholders in the formulation of significant changes in the Trust's affairs to achieve greater efficiency and to sustain effective cooperation.