A Laborious audit carried out by managers of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) in the past 18 months has saved Ghana over GHC40 million.
According to the SSNIT it had successfully deleted over 6,000 ‘ghost names’ from the pensioners’ database as of April 10, 2019, amounting to a whopping GHC40,761,729.26.
The amount, SSNIT indicated, had been withheld from going into wrong hands. “For the period under review, 6,328 names were deleted from the pensioners’ list while 2,038 names were restored on the pensioners’ payroll,” Deputy Director-General (DDG) for the Trust, Ms Laurette Korkor Otchere said.
In an interview with a journalist from Finder, the DDG said that a payroll audit department had been set up to deal with ghost names and other fraud-related cases.
“The payroll audit department vets the pensions randomly to be sure that the right amounts are being paid and to the right people. We continue to do the audits to make sure that we are paying only those pensioners who must be paid,”
Meanwhile, a major contributory factor to the ghost name phenomenon at SSNIT is the failure of bereaved families to duly inform the Trust of the demise of their loved ones
Also, the processing time for pensions payments, including those for invalidity, dropped from an average of 27 days in 2017 to 21 days in 2018.
SSNIT increases pension benefits for 2019
The reduction in processing time, according to SSNIT, was below the target of 30 days, noting that “the duration in 2016 was 47 days”.
Processing time for payment of old-age lump sum also dropped from an average of 14 days in 2017 to 11 days in 2018, a development SSNIT described as a major achievement from the target of 30 days.
For survivors’ lump sum, the processing time for payments dropped from an average of 15 days in 2017 to 9 days in 2018. The figure for 2016 was 25 days.
However, according to the Trust, an amount of GH¢2.801 billion was collected as contributions in 2018. The figure represents an increase of over GH¢418 million from 2017, in which GH¢2.382 billion was collected.
SSNIT noted that active establishments contributing to the scheme rose from 58,745 in 2017 to 67,101 in 2018, representing an increase of about 14%. Director-General of the Trust, Dr John Ofori Tenkorang maintained that SSNIT had a collective responsibility as managers and as stakeholders to ensure that employers paid contributions on the right salaries for all workers, “to ensure our members receive the appropriate benefits”.
“My commitment, our commitment to you and our members is to run an open and transparent administration, and provide accurate and sustainable pensions and other related benefits to contributors and their dependents as and when they fall due,” he noted.