A Tax Analyst, William Demitia, has urged the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to efficiently analyze its ability to allow contributors draw down on funds to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 before taking such a decision.
The Erstwhile President John Mahama in a digital conversation to address the people of Ghana last month suggested that SNNIT contributors be allowed to access some of their contributions in these difficult times.
Minority members in Parliament have also called for a review of the SSNIT law to allow for withdrawals from contributions in this hard time.
However, SSNIT has rejected both proposals claiming that its Act does not allow for such proposals.
Speaking in an interview, Mr. Demitia said SSNIT can only consider such proposals if there would not be any subsequent impact on its efficiency to operate.
“Look at the current cash flow of SSNIT. How much are people contributing to the keeping of SSNIT every month. Is it able to meet the operational cost of SSNIT? Is it able to pay pensioners their monthly pension, and is it able to make the necessary investments so that when people call upon SSNIT to pay their pension, they can pay?”
“If we do that analysis and assessment then we realize that there is a surplus amount that can be given back to the contributors, that’s another conversation we can have. I only advise that, before we take a step on some of these measures, we have all the technical expertise. I am not an expert, but you must call the experts to come on board, look at the current situation, look at the impact of the proposals on SSNIT and its operations, and find out whether that is feasible. Yes, everybody is for it. Anyway, that you can get money back into the hands of people during a crisis is good enough because remember, we can only get out of it when people have the confidence to spend,” he said.
The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in job losses as businesses struggle to function fully.
Currently, Ghana has recorded 2, 719 cases with 294 recoveries and 18 deaths.
CLOSAG Calls for Restructure of Pension Scheme
Meanwhile, the Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana (CLOSAG) has petitioned President Akufo-Addo to restructure the SSNIT pension scheme to ensure the welfare of beneficiaries.
According to the Executive Secretary of CLOGSAG, Isaac Bampoe-Addo who was speaking at the 2020 May Day virtual celebration, a review of the scheme will improve the welfare of pensioners.
“On this workers day, 1st May 2020, CLOSAG is appealing to his excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana to personally ensure that SSNIT is immediately restructured to assure workers of income security in retirement and to meet their commitments under the three-tier pension scheme.”