The number of self-employed workers who have enrolled in the pension scheme administered by the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has increased by 100% in the past nine months. This remarkable achievement is attributed to the launch of a Self-Employment Enrolment Drive (SEED) in January 2023.
The SEED initiative is designed to provide pensions and related benefits to self-employed workers who are mostly in the informal sector. The initiative is also in line with the Trust’s mandate to extend pension coverage to all workers in Ghana, regardless of their employment status.
The Director-General of SSNIT, Dr. John Ofori-Tenkorang, said at the launch of SEED in Kumasi, the capital city of the Ashanti region, that the Trust needs to intensify its marketing efforts to attract more informal workers to join the pension scheme.
The SSNIT pension scheme is a social protection scheme that replaces part of the lost income of members due to old age, invalidity or death. It also pays emigration benefits to non-Ghanaian members who are leaving Ghana permanently. The SSNIT pension scheme has an active membership of over 1.9 million as at May 2023, with over 220,000 pensioners who regularly receive their monthly pensions from SSNIT.
To qualify for old age pension, the member must be at least 60 years and must have contributed a minimum of 180 months (15 years) under Act 766 and 240 months (20 years) under PNDCL 247. The member who is 55 years but below 60 years receives reduced pension while the 60-year-old receives full pension. The pension amount is calculated based on the age, average of best three years’ salaries, and earned pension right of the member.
The SEED initiative aims to encourage self-employed workers to join the SSNIT pension scheme and enjoy its benefits. The initiative offers flexible contribution payment options, such as mobile money, bank transfers, and cash payments at SSNIT branches. The initiative also offers incentives such as free registration, free biometric cards, free financial literacy training, and free medical screening for potential members.
The SEED initiative is expected to increase the coverage and sustainability of the SSNIT pension scheme and improve the welfare of self-employed workers in Ghana.