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07.12.2005 Business & Finance

Failure to submit SSNIT contributions is illegal - SSNIT

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Accra, Dec. 7, GNA - Mr Ohene Kwaku Abbu-Bonsra, Accra Area Manager of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), on Wednesday reminded employers that refusal to submit the contributions of workers towards the SSNIT Pensions Scheme was illegal. He said it was also a punishable offence for employers not to register their workers for the scheme.

Mr Abbu-Bonsra said this at a day's seminar for employers organised by the Weija branch of SSNIT at Weija in Accra. The seminar was under the theme: "Improved Data Integrity for Prompt Payment of Benefits." Mr Abbu-Bonsra urged workers to comply with some basic requirements of the scheme for its successful operation to ensure prompt payment of their pensions.

These include the timely submission of contributions of workers, ensuring the accuracy of information supplied and cooperation with SSNIT personnel, who might be in need of information from employees. He said employees also needed to avoid mistakes such as wrong SSNIT numbers and the failure to update SSNIT on amendments of their records such as change of beneficiaries. Mr Abbu-Bonsra said although SSNIT could take legal action if an employer failed to pay contributions of employers, it always resorted to amicable solutions. He said if court action, which was often employed as a last resort had to be taken, an employer could end up paying a fine of 500,000 cedis or being imprisoned for not less than five years.

Mrs Rosemary Sackey, Manager of the Weija branch of SSNIT, advised employees to crosscheck the information that their employers supplied to SSNIT. She said by showing interest in such information, they ensured that their money would be paid to them when they retired. Mrs Sackey said one area that people needed to be wary of was the guaranteeing of SSNIT loans for students, since the failure of students to pay their loans could affect the payment of guarantors' allowances when they went on pension.