Gov’t’s indebtedness to SSNIT nears ¢1bn; workers cry over non-payment of benefits

Government has defaulted in the payment of nearly one billion Ghana cedis to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) Joy News can confirm.

The situation has left retired workers poorer, as SSNIT struggles to pay retirement benefits of workers.

An operational performance report covering January 2014-September 2014 which was intercepted by Joy News shows an indebted Trust struggling to retrieve contributions mostly from the Accountant General and other subvented institutions.

The Accountant General is said to be in “arrears of 15 months of unpaid contributions,” the report indicated.

What this means is that within the 15 months, government collected SSNIT contributions from workers, especially in the public and civil service and yet failed to remit same to SSNIT.

The Trust had targeted to retrieve an amount of 914,494.46, in September 2014, but the report said “the Accountant General and subvented organisations did not make any payment in respect of current contributions during the month under review.”

It brings to 1,072.91m cedis the total indebtedness to the Trust, the report stated.

Government’s indebtedness to SSNIT comes at a time when other private individuals have been imprisoned for defaulting in the payment of the SSNIT contributions.

Workers Angry
Workers are up in arms against government, protesting a seeming reduction in their pensions and in some cases non-payment of the benefits.

President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers Christian Addae Poku said he is not surprised at the state of government’s  indebtedness to SSNIT.

According to him, the Trust attempted to hide the truth of government’s indebtedness from workers but when it run out of cash and could not pay the workers’ benefits it had to open up by publishing on its website the true state of affairs.

Government cannot and should not toy with the pensions of workers, he warned , adding the impact of government’s indebtedness to SSNIT has been huge.

“Clearly SSNIT has reduced the lump sum percentage payment because if they don’t reduce it SSNIT will collapse,” stated.

“If you deduct people’s money and by law you are supposed to pay that money within 14 days, beyond which you are supposed to pay penalties for it and you don’t pay, it is illegal” he added.

He said at a time when private citizens are being prosecuted and jailed for non-payment of SSNIT contributions, government cannot break the law by failing to pay the contributions it has collected from workers.

He accused government trying to “kill the scheme.”

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