Government workers, including some pensioners in Sissala East District, have commended the Management of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust�s (SSNIT) for organizing an open air customers� clinic for them to address issues related to the Scheme.
Many of the workers made general enquiries about the Scheme or updated their personal records, while others changed their beneficiaries. Some were provided with statement of accounts, membership certificates and those who had more than one SSNIT number were reconciled.
Some pensioners also renewed their life certificates. Workers of SSNIT used the clinic to register new members into the scheme.
Though a large number of workers patronized the clinic, the SSNIT officials had the patience and time to cordially interact with them and work on their cases with speed thus earning the admiration of their clients.
�This clinic has come to help solve workers� problems,� a client remarked. �The Social Security and National Insurance Trust should consider establishing an office in Tumu to cater for the workers in the area.�
�At present, workers from this part of the Region spend money and time, risk their lives and inconvenience themselves to travel long distances to Wa and Accra to check on their contributions and discrepancies on their records but we are happy today for this clinic,� he explained.
Other workers who spoke to the GNA said many of them had not been able to check on their SSNIT records because of the long distances they had to travel so if they had not had the opportunity to correct the problems they could have eventually lost their benefits.
Mr. Abudu Abudul-Karimu Upper West Regional Manager of SSNIT, said the branch organised the clinic to meet the aspirations of its members by helping to address their concerns. He said the world was changing and customers were also changing and SSNIT needed to change to meet workers� aspirations and expectations.
He said many contributors to the scheme had not been updating their records with SSNIT and gave the assurance that the workers would be appropriately educated on SSNIT operations at the week-long clinic.
�Change of names, addresses, guaranteeing for students to access SSNIT loans and multiple registration numbers are among the issues that many workers were not paying attention to and these could affect them when they are due for retirement,� he explained.
Mr. Abudu-Karimu said the low salaries paid by employers to their employees was a major contributor to the low pension benefits paid to some retirees in Ghana, pointing out the payment of pensions in Ghana was based on three variables.
These include salary, number of months of contribution and the age of the contributor. Mr. Abudu-Karimu said SSNIT contributors should know that the amount they received from their employers as salary would determine how high or low their pension benefits would be.
The Branch Manager advised workers to fight for better salaries from their employers to enable them to retire with better pension benefits. Mr. Abudu-Karimu mentioned the survivors� lump sum, the invalidity benefits and the pension itself as the three types of claims paid by SSNIT to their clients.
He said the 2.5 percent paid to the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) by SSNIT on behalf of their clients was not deducted from their pension benefits when they retired. He, therefore , advised SSNIT contributors to regularly visit their offices to update their records to avoid any discrepancies when they retire.
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