President Nana Akufo-Addo has said that the government will pay GHc 900 million of its GH¢1 billion debt to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).
The debt is an accumulation of claims of up to the end of 2018 which the government was to pay to the pension management firm.
Speaking at the 2019 May Day celebration at the Black Stars Square in Accra, President Akufo-Addo said the remaining arrears will be included in the 2020 budget.
“I’m informed that the Ministry of Finance has arranged for payment of GH¢ 200 million and a bond of GH¢ 700 million towards the retirement of the arrears owed to SSNIT,” the president said.
The debt was reportedly affecting the operations of SSNIT.
Two weeks ago, the Director General of SSNIT, Dr. John Ofori Tenkorang said that there were discussions with the Finance Ministry to access the outstanding payments.
During a media engagement on the Trust’s operations, he said, “We are engaged with the Ministry of Finance to come up with a solution.”
The theme for this year’s May Day celebration is “Sustainable Pensions for all”, drawing attention to the end of service benefit of workers in the country.
The Industrial and Commercial Workers Union on the back of the theme admonished workers in the country to get more interested in matters of their pensions as active employees.
In a Citi News interview, the General Secretary of ICU, Solomon Kotei said workers must not wait till they retire before they take a keen interest in their benefits.
“We are looking at these investments that are managed by SSNIT and the fund managers on the second tier. How relevant are our figures accumulating? As of now, we are coming to this May Day celebration to actually wake up workers. Let them think through and ask themselves; are we to take bigger allowances and leave our base pay to dwindle.”
Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo has emphasized the need for more Ghanaians to have adequate pension funds to support their retirement.
“We will build a robust economy and a prosperous society when we put in place a pension scheme for all workers. Far too many of our people, the end of their lives is marked by poverty. Too many people either have no pensions at all or have inadequate pensions to meet the needs of old age,” he said at the May Day parade.