The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has, since 2017, made savings of more than GH₵512 million through the adoption of innovative and cost-cutting measures in the discharge of its mandate.
This was achieved through savings on legacy investment transactions, deactivation of over 11,000 pensioners from the payroll, savings on ICT support fees, among other measures.
The Director-General of SSNIT, Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang, disclosed this at a ceremony to present a new pick-up to the National Pensioners Association (NPA) in Accra yesterday.
While legacy investment transactions accounted for GH₵246m of the savings, the sanitisation of the payroll system also yielded net savings of over GH¢144 million as of December 16, 2020.
The institution also made savings of over GH¢121 million on ICT support fees over the period.
“As managers of your hard-earned money that you put aside for retirement, we have to exercise the highest level of financial prudence and integrity in the administration of the Pension Fund, so that we can continue to discharge our duties.
“To meet these obligations, we will continue to adopt innovative ways to grow the fund and carry out further cost-cutting measures. Already, we have made total savings of over GH₵512m since 2017,” the D-G said, adding that the savings would help strengthen and ensure the sustainability of the scheme.
He further said SSNIT had, last year, spent GH¢3.3 billion in benefit payments.
The amount comprised GH¢2.97bn to pensioners and over GH₵330m in lump sum payment to other beneficiaries (refund of contributions, survivors’ lump sum and emigration benefits).
He said the institution had also reduced the timelines for processing applications for first-time payments from 47 days to an average of 13 days.
The D-G also assured pensioners that in spite of the adverse impact of the COVID-19 on businesses, “we will continue to pay your pension schemes without fail on the third Thursday of every month”.
Dr Ofori-Tenkorang announced plans by SSNIT to deploy an in-house developed Information Technology system to replace its current system to enhance operations.
He said with the new software, the trust would, among other measures, adopt the Ghana Card for identification to replace the existing SSNIT Card.
“This new system will also support the payment of contributions and benefits through the use of electronic payment platforms, including mobile money transactions,” he added.
Dr Ofori-Tenkorang presented the new Toyota Hilux double-cabin pick-up to the executive of the NPA to facilitate their operations across the country.
He explained that the gesture was in response to a request from the NPA to help address some transportation challenges it faced in the execution of its daily activities.
The D-G pledged to prioritise the needs of pensioners at all times by supporting their activities as part of the trust’s corporate social responsibility.
The acting General Secretary of the NPA, Mr Stephen Boakye, expressed the association’s gratitude to SSNIT for responding to its request and pledged to use the vehicle “for the purpose for which it is given”.
He also commended SSNIT for increasing the 2021 pensions by 10 per cent, in spite of the economic challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I must admit that the institution of SSNIT and its leadership are making strides that will forever be imprinted in the hearts and history of the NPA,” he said.