SSNIT engages informal sector operators
SEED is a product of SSNIT introduced specifically for the informal sector, aimed at ensuring contributors receive a reliable income and are financially independent when they retire or become inactive.
As part of activities to raise awareness of the importance of social security and SEED, SSNIT, in collaboration with the Trade Union Congress, yesterday organised a forum to sensitise operators in the Greater Accra Region.
It was on the theme: "Sign up for SEED from SSNIT Eye wo daakye. Fa no personal".
The forum, which has been replicated in nine regions, attracted members from diverse groups of self-employed trade associations such as indigenous caterers, MUSIGA Ghana, Actors Guild, Domestic Workers Union, Tomatoes Sellers, United Spare Parts Merchants, National Artisans and Traders Union, Porters Association of Ghana, Ga East Traders, Tema Station Traders Association, Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU).
At the forum, the Director-General of SSNIT, John Ofori-Tenkorang, emphasised the significance of SEED in offering workers in the informal sector a safety net and social protection.
He explained that SEED was the tier one pension scheme for self-employed individuals and informal sector workers that offered social security benefits and peace of mind that came with financial protection in their old age or inactive period.
SSNIT, he said, was the administrator of Ghana's Basic National Social Security Scheme (First Tier) under the National Pensions Act, 2008 Act 766 and was responsible for replacing part of lost income of workers in Ghana due to old age, invalidity or death.
He said membership of SSNIT was open to workers in the formal and informal sectors, and self-employed workers could join the scheme between 15 and 45 years.
Benefits to contributors, he said, were paid from contributions and returns on investments.
Out of the 6.7 million workers in the informal sector, Mr Tenkorang said only nine per cent were covered under the pensions scheme, with only 0.85 per cent being SSNIT contributors.
Also, he said of the 3.2 million formal sector workers, about 60 per cent were covered under SSNIT.
"They have a proper foundation.
They will receive benefits and have peace of mind," he said.
The benefits of SEED, he said, included financial support during retirement or permanent disability, and a life insurance policy that provided a lump sum to beneficiaries in case of the contributor’s passing.
"These benefits are based on the individual’s contributions made to SSNIT throughout their lifetime," he said.
Benefits of SEED, he said, were life insurance, survivors' lump sum, invalidity pension, emigration lump sum and old age pension.
"More than 1,000 received invalidity pensions currently," he said.
Enrolment on SEED, he said, had been made easy as individuals could register at the nearest SSNIT office with their national identification card popularly known as Ghana card.
After registering, they are required to indicate how much they can contribute or declare a monthly salary of their choice, based on which they will contribute 13.5 per cent towards their monthly SSNIT benefits.
Payment options for contributions include monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual payments.
"Remember, the amount you pay determines the pension you will receive.
All you need to register is your National Identification card," he said.
Payments, he stated, could be done using mobile money wallets which were e-levy exempt while contributors could track their contributions.
The Greater Accra Regional Chairman, Patrick Binyemi, urged workers in the informal sector to enrol onto the SEED to secure their retirement and safeguard their financial well-being.