Economist Professor Godfred Bokpin is calling for a policy that will limit the powers of government in appointing the head and Board of Directors of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to protect pension funds.
President Akufo-Addo during the Workers Day celebration announced that the government will issue a 700 million cedis bond to pay part of the debt it owed SSNIT.
However, some financial observers have questioned why the government should owe SSNIT to the tune of one billion cedis, blaming the situation on power
Speaking on the issue, Professor Bokpin maintained that it is time to reduce government’s power on SSNIT funds to safeguard the future of workers’ pension.
“If there is any policy or anything we have to look at the composition of the SSNIT board and then the appointing authority. I am sure when you engage SSNIT they will tell you all these investments have been made by SNNIT, but we do know the level of government’s influence,” he said.
Prof Bokpin argued that passing a law that will make the Trust independent will prevent it from undue influence.
This, he explained, will make SSNIT live beyond governments guaranteeing the term of office of its head and the board members to freely discharge their duties.
“The board of SSNIT changes with the change in government so to make SSNIT independent we have to guarantee their operational independence also by looking at the board composition and how the board is appointed and then the terms on which they are appointed,” he stressed.
SSNIT is a statutory public Trust charged under the National Pensions Act, 2008 Act 766 with the administration of Ghana’s Basic National Social Security Scheme. Its mandate is to cater to the First Tier of the Three-Tier Pension Scheme.
The Trust is currently the largest non-bank financial institution in Ghana.
The primary responsibility of the Trust is to replace part of lost income of workers in Ghana due to Old Age, Invalidity or Death of a member where dependants receive lump sum payment.
It is also responsible for the payment of Emigration benefit to a non-Ghanaian member who is leaving Ghana permanently.