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21.09.2005 Health

Government urged to note impact of NHIS levy on SSNIT

By GNA

Accra, Sept. 21, GNA - The Government should take a serious note of the impact of the 2.5 per cent National Health Insurance Scheme Levy on the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) Scheme, the Presidential Commission on Pensions has recommended.

The Commission said in its Interim Report released on Wednesday that it gathered from a study conducted by SSNIT to assess the financial impact of the 2.5 per cent contribution to the NHIS that it would have an adverse impact on the Scheme as currently structured.

It said with the NHIS levy, the fund ratio would decline from 6.96 in 2004 to 1.23 by the end of the projection period, which is 2050. Without the NHIS levy, however, the fund ratio would increase from 9.58 in 2004 to a maximum of 10.14 in 2009 and finally decrease to 5.55 in 2050.

"Be as it may, the SSNIT Scheme has the inherent capacity to remain viable and sustainable," the Commission said, but added that several challenges must be confronted to remove the threats to its sustainability.

These include high administrative costs, poor returns on investments, the burden of the students' loan scheme, the 2.5 per cent NHIS contribution and political interference in the management of the scheme.

On compensation package for workers, the Commission said any arrangement intended to change the pension system for public employees required a review of the total compensation package, including the wage structure.

This, it noted, formed part of the ongoing Public Sector Reform Programme and recommended the speeding up of the ongoing discussions by the Tripartite Committee on a new national incomes policy, which would provide the basis for a new living wage for the Ghanaian worker.

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