The integration of member account numbers of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to the national platform, the Ghana Card, by the National Identification Authority (NIA) will take-off from June 28, 2021, Dr. John Ofori-Tenkorang – SSNIT’s Director General, has revealed.
Effectively, about 1.6 million active SSNIT members will by the close of 2021 be fully integrated with the NIA platform.
At a stakeholders’ meeting held yesterday, Dr. Ofori-Tenkorang said that this migration answers the question – why carry two cards if one can do the job?
“For us at SSNIT, this transition ties in nicely with our quest to improve the ease of doing business with the Trust. Your convenience means everything to us, and the switch to using the Ghana Card will mean you only have to carry that ONE card for practically all your transactions,” he said.
He added: “Not only will adoption of the card provide great benefits to both members/clients and SSNIT, but it will also make us fully compliant with the National Identity Register Regulations, 2012, L.I. 2111 which requires the use of the Ghana Card as a means of identification for transactions pertaining to individuals in respect of pensions and the subsequent directives we receive from the NPRA, our regulator”.
By this arrangement, new SSNIT members must provide their Ghana Card numbers to enrol onto the SSNIT Scheme, whereas employers and the self-employed can only pay contributions using the NIA numbers.
SSNIT members will also be required to provide their Ghana Card numbers to access their statements of account, while pensioners aged 72 years and above will be required to renew their Pensioners’ Certificates using the Ghana Card.
The Director-General called on stakeholders for support to rally all their employees and members to ensure that they merge their numbers when the programme finally takes off.
“The plan is that by end of this year we would have merged all the numbers of our existing members and migrated them onto the NIA platform; and that will enable us to ensure the Ghana Card becomes the only accepted means of identification required for members to transact business with SSNIT, starting January 2022,” Dr. Ofori-Tenkorang said.
So far this year, the Director General revealed, SSNIT has prosecuted about 5,344 defaulting employers. “We take no delight in prosecuting employers. Our expectation is for every employer to pay contributions on time; but when they fail to pay, even after protracted periods of engagement and negotiation, then we have no choice but to prosecute because of the obligation placed on us by law,” he said.
Last year, GH¢3.3billion was paid as benefits. This is made up of over GH¢2.9billion to some 227,000 old age pensioners; GH¢16.3million to some 1,400 invalid pensioners; GH¢10million to 192 emigrants; and GH¢273.7million to some 24,000 survivors; and GH¢51.8million in lump-sums and other payments.