SSNIT entreats informal sector workers to join pension scheme

Workers in the informal sector in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region have been urged to join the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) pension scheme for their own benefits when they go on retirement.

The Director-General of SSNIT, Dr. John Ofori-Tenkorang, said “the scheme is not limited to only government workers in the country, but to all citizens who are desirous of contributing to the trust.”

The Director-General, who was addressing a stakeholders’ forum in the Upper East Regional capital, Bolgatanga, debunked the perception that only salaried workers paid by the government were beneficiaries of the scheme.

He stressed that anyone who worked either in the formal or informal sectors to cater for his or her daily needs could enjoy pension during old age, provided they contributed to the scheme.

According to Dr. Ofori-Tenkorang, unlike in the past when SSNIT contributions were only reserved for government or salaried workers, the situation had changed, as there was now a law that allowed the informal sector workers to also benefit from the Trust.

He thus encouraged self-employed individuals to enrol on to the Trust through the Self-Employment Enrolment Drive (SEED).

Dr. Ofori-Tenkorang stated that, the SEED was a significant new initiative taken by SSNIT to expand its basic social security scheme to include the self-employed, who were previously not mandated by law to participate in the scheme.

The SSNIT/TUC regional SEED engagement forum with the informal sector on pension was attended by participants drawn from the Ghana Private Road Transport Union, traders, fashion designers, dressmakers, caterers, farmers, artisans and tailors.

The initiative was in collaboration with SSNIT and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), which had urged the trust to go round the country to sensitize people why they must join the scheme since all workers were pensionable.

Joshua Ansah, Deputy Secretary-General of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) explained that, government workers had been benefiting from the scheme because they were organized and received regular salaries hence the law was made to permit the informal sector workers to also benefit from the scheme.

From William Nlanjerbor Jalulah, Bolgatanga


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