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Pensioners To Access Benefits Through Mobile Phones   
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The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) is installing an Integrated Pension Administration System, a database where pensioners can easily access their pension information.

Besides, SSNIT will install a Wide Area Network (WAN) to connect all its branches countrywide. The Director-General of SSNIT, Kwasi Boatin, announced this at the fifth stakeholder’s forum in Accra yesterday.

He said the Trust was also adopting a technology where pensioners can access their pension benefits through mobile phone, ezwich and other electronic platforms. He said the electronic payment systems would save the situation where pensioners have to travel t o SSNIT offices to access their pension benefits.

Highlighting on SSNIT’s performance, last year, Mr Boatin said the Trust was looking for a strategic investor to invest in its non-performing assets, such as Wahome Steel and GAFCO to enhance its financial position in the years ahead. He expressed regret of some employees conniving with their employers to under declare their income, saying such people paid the price after their pension.

Mr. Boatin said, SSNIT as part of its development strategy, would embark on aggressive marketing programmes to expand its coverage and also expand the scheme to cover more people in the informal sector.
Earlier in his report, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Kwame Peprah, said the “Trust made significant strides on the investment front and some progress in its operations” and praised the former board for that.

SSNIT’s investment portfolio as at December 2008, according to him, stood at GH¢2.2 billion representing growth of 32 per cent on the same position in 2007 of GH¢1.6 billion, which he said resulted from the considerable increase in gross investment income which grew by 45 per cent from GH¢108.6 million in 2007 to GH¢157.4 million in 2008. On the operational front, Mr. Peprah said there was an increase in active contributors membership from 803,582 to 843,676 which was a five per cent rise over that of 2007. “In terms of new employers and workers, there were also increases. For example, new employers for the year grew from 3,953 to 4,238, an increase of seven per cent and new workers from 102,576 to 119,748 an increase of 16.8 per cent” the chairman stated.

Mr. Peprah said SSNIT was embarking on educational campaigns to create stakeholder awareness in the new pension scheme, stating that the new scheme, which would take effect from next January, would undoubtedly come with some challenges such as new pension schemes, new rates of contribution and new qualifying periods. Later in an open forum, stakeholders of the Trust expressed concern about delay in paying their pension benefits and lack of automation of their processes, which management promised to address.

Source: The Ghanaian Times

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