The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), has disclosed to Citi Business News that it will from next month stop paying claims to pensioners who have failed to undertake their biometric registration with the Trust.
Per the move, pensioners 72 years and above will be considered as ‘ghosts’ hence will not be able to access their claims.
All pensioners are expected to renew their pension certificates annually to warrant payment of their monthly benefits from SSNIT.
The Head of Corporate Affairs at SSNIT, Victoria Gifty Abaidoo tells Citi Business News the directive should help in reducing unwarranted payments due to ‘ghost’ names.
“We want to purge our systems and also know that all those that all the people we are paying are still alive and we are paying them. So what we are saying is that we are giving everybody the opportunity till the end of January 2018,” she explained.
Mrs Abaidoo added, “From the 1st of February, if you have not done your biometric registration and used that to renew your pensioners’ certificate, then the assumption is that you are no more and that we will have to delete your name from our pension payroll.”
The move comes days after the announcement of a ten percent rise in the minimum pension payment to beneficiaries.
According to SSNIT, the increase is to improve the welfare of contributors currently on pension.
Public sector payroll sanitized through SSNIT biometric system
A similar biometric exercise was carried out in the public sector in 2016 which led to the initial expulsion of some 23,029 names in April 2017 for failing to heed the original deadline scheduled for February 2017.
Several appeals led to the extension of the deadline and their subsequent inclusion in the public sector payroll.
At the time, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta stressed that the exercise is to ensure that no salaries are paid for no work done.
It also formed part of moves to protect the public purse.
The exercise, coupled with another one which involved the removal of ghost names, has been estimated to save the country some 250 million cedis.
By: Pius Amihere Eduku/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana