Existing pensioners with the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) will from January 2018 enjoy ten percent increase in the benefits paid by the Trust.
It follows the upward review of the minimum pension paid to contributors which takes effect this year.
Per the move, pensioners on the payroll of SSNIT will now get a minimum benefit of GH¢303.60.
This is up from the GH¢276 that was paid as at 2017.
The Head of Corporate Affairs at SSNIT, Victoria Gifty Abaidoo justified the rise in minimum pension payment to Citi Business News.
“Contributions are paid on salaries and the salaries that we’ve collected the contributions on, didn’t have any increases. So increase in contributions that came are based upon the salaries that the contributions were paid. The percentage increase that we get serves as a basis for us to pay. So we are fulfilling what the law is asking us to do, based on the increases that we had in the course of the year,” she explained.
Madam Abaidoo added, “We are estimating that the purchasing power of pensioners will not be reviewed so if you have a decision of ten percent then that will be calculated as what will be the basis for SSNIT to increase the pensioners amount.”
The increase in the pension contributions is in line with the provisions of Section 80 of the National Pensions Act 2008 (Act 766).
According to SSNIT, the decision has also been influenced by consultation with the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA).
Meanwhile responding to a question on the decision to peg the rate at 10 percent and not a bit higher, the Corporate Affairs Manager stressed that the decision has been largely influenced by the current inflation levels.
“The base inflation that we have was 10 percent. Currently, the targeted inflation from the Ministry of Finance is about 8.7%. So if you look at it, the 10 percent figure is higher than the targeted figure. You cannot just increase or decrease pensioners arbitrarily. It’s based on the prevailing inflation that is how the benefits are calculated.”
Currently, SSNIT has over 187,000 pensioners enrolled unto the scheme.
The Trust also pays over GH¢172m to pensioners every month.