with the informal sector, Dr. John Ofori Tenkorang, Director-General of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), delivered a crucial message to the working public: it’s essential to consider retirement insurance to ensure financial security in old age.
Dr. Ofori-Tenkorang emphasized that in this era of extended lifespans, both formal and informal workers should take steps to secure their pensionable future. He pointed out that the burden of retirement should not fall solely on the shoulders of one’s children, as they may not always be able to provide adequate support.
“Life expectancy is high, and depending on your children for retirement support can have wide-reaching consequences,” he stressed. “You might enter retirement while your parents are still alive, and this can create financial burdens.”To address this issue, Dr. Ofori-Tenkorang urged everyone to take advantage of the state-run insurance scheme, SSNIT, which plays a crucial role in supporting the nation’s retired workforce.
He described SSNIT as the foundation of pensions, with Tier II and Tier III serving as additional layers of support. He also highlighted the potential benefits of individual investments to supplement one’s retirement income.Despite the importance of pension insurance, the informal sector has shown a lack of participation, with only 57,000 out of 6.7 million workers enrolled in SSNIT.
In contrast, the formal sector has a higher participation rate, with 60 percent of its 3.2 million workers enrolled.Dr. Ofori-Tenkorang emphasized the need to change the narrative and broaden participation, dispelling the misconception that SSNIT is exclusively for government workers.
He also highlighted the state’s commitment to protecting SSNIT as a vital component of the pension system.SSNIT presently offers a return rate of 13.5 percent, which is considered one of the highest for any pension policy. It provides both digital and cash payment options, ensuring flexibility for pensioners.
Dr. Ofori-Tenkorang mentioned that pensions have seen a 21 percent increase, and the Scheme prides itself on its prompt payment system.The engagement, organized in collaboration with the Trade Union Congress, aimed to raise pension awareness among the dominant informal work sector.
Dr. Ofori-Tenkorang credited this partnership with the significant increase in SSNIT enrollments, which rose from 14,000 to 57,000 in about three years.He concluded by highlighting the role of “enabling technologies” in sustaining these gains, including the penetration of biometric cards and advancements in electronic payment systems, which have facilitated the onboarding of the informal sector into the pension system.
In conclusion, securing your retirement through pension insurance is a critical step in ensuring a financially stable and worry-free old age. Dr. Ofori Tenkorang’s message serves as a reminder of the importance of taking control of your financial future and not solely relying on family support during retirement.