SSNIT Backs Proposal For Upward Review Of Retiring Age

The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has agreed with proposal for an upward review of the retiring age.

It says such a review would be to its advantages, whereas downward review would adversely affect it.

SSNIT’s position was in reaction to the Constitutional Review Commission’s proposal that Article 199 of the constitution, which stipulates the retirement age, should be amended to give Parliament the authority to vary the retirement age for officers in all public services, taking into consideration, the exigencies of their services.

The proposal has been captured in a Bill prepared by the Constitutional Review Implementation Committee (CRIC) and currently under scrutiny at the Ministry of Justice and Attorney-General’s Department.

Speaking to the Ghanaian Times in Accra yesterday, the Corporate Affairs Director of SSNIT, Evangeline Amegashie, neither condemned nor commended the proposal, but explained that currently, a downward review would put stress on the scheme and compel it to meet the huge entitlements of pensioners going on early retirement.

“In another view, an upward review would give a longer and adequate period for SSNIT to prepare for the retirement of its clients”, she added.

She explained that the scheme has been designed to suit actuarial research on retirement issues in the country.

The actuarial valuation, which is done every three years, took into consideration a number of issues and advises the scheme on theme accordingly.

Ms. Amegashie, however, advised that Parliament consults and enters into dialogue with stakeholders when approving either a downward or upward review.

“To ensure a profitable review for all, an amendment by Parliament should be based on recommendation made by stakeholders on the basis of extensive actuarial valuation”, she said.

When the Ghanaian Times hit the streets of Accra to seek views on the matter, some unemployed graduates suggested that the retiring age be maintained at 60, or reduced to give way to others to be employed as more would retire earlier.

“I am 59 and still strong and healthy. I can continue to render quality service to the nation even to seventy years, but if I am asked to go on retirement, all the skills will be wasted, as I stay at home”, John Bediako surmised.