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21.10.2005 General News

Govt commended for paying SSNIT contribution promptly

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Hohoe, Oct. 21, GNA - The government has been commended for paying its contributions to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) promptly.

Mr Thomas L. Agawu, General Manager in-charge of Operations, said previously the inability of the government to honour its commitment to the Trust's made its operations to run into deficit.

He was speaking at a seminar under the theme, "Assisting SSNIT to ensure prompt processing and payment of benefits," at Hohoe. Mr Agawu assured the participants at the seminar that SSNIT would survive the next 50 years if its operations came to a halt now. He warned employers who defaulted in the payment of the contributions of their workers that their action would jeopardise the benefit of their staff under the National Health Insurance Scheme. Mr Richard Setsoafia, Hohoe Branch Manager in his contribution at the one-day sensitisation seminar for 100 employers and schedule officers said that SSNIT continued to pay the highest monthly pension of 66.8 million cedis and the lowest of 125,000 cedis in its 40 years of operation.

It also paid the 25 per cent lump sum upfront figure of 1.9 billion cedis and the survivors' lump sum benefit of 1.2 billion cedis within the same period.

Mr Setsoafia announced that 236 establishments in the Hohoe area were indebted to the tune of 158 million cedis with 39 institutions owing 65 million cedis out of which the District Assembly owed 33 million cedis, constituting 51 per cent of the amount.

He said some of the problems hampering the processing of beneficiary's claims included invalid nomination, inaccurate or incomplete statement of account and guarantors of the students' loan. Others problems were inaccurate SSNIT post of labour force compliance making 82 per cent and employer compliance recording 96 per cent as at September 2005.

Ms Eva Amegashie, Deputy Head, Public Affairs, said it was the hope of SSNIT to develop a corporate image of a world class financial institution dedicated to the promotion of economic security of workers. "It also envision to provide a cutting-edge income replacement scheme to workers and their dependants in the event of old age, permanent disability or death through a motivated staff and diligent leadership," she said.

Ms Amegashie appealed to employers to assist the Trust to track down students loan defaulters when they were being engaged for employment, saying such information would help SSNIT to recoup its loans for others to benefit.

Mrs Maame Akua Amoah, Area Manager in-charge of Volta/Eastern Regions, urged employers to adequately declare the labour force in their establishment, present true and accurate salaries, submit returns on monthly basis and any other relevant documentation, which would facilitate its operations.

She said this would reduce administrative cost, improve operational efficiency and quality of service.