Member of Parliament for Gomoa West, Alexander Abban has said the low pension benefits paid pensioners should partly be blamed on the Social Security and National Insurance Trust’s (SSNIT) poor investment habits.
He said low or bad returns on investments makes it extremely difficult for SSNIT to make enough interest to give more to contributors on retirement.
There have been concerns that most pensioners are unable to live decent lives because the pension benefits are woefully inadequate – a situation the legislator has attributed to the failure of SSNIT to invest prudently.
“I think that, one of the problems is the kind of investment that SSNIT itself gets in. When we pay the money to them, they are required to work with the money such that it will multiply itself. This is in the hope that at the end of people’s working that contribution would be big enough to take care of them”, he said on the Big Issue.
“Unfortunately, by the time one gets to retirement, the money has rather shrunk. So, SSNIT should look at the kind of investment portfolio they push the pension’s money in. It is true that the average Ghanaian is not earning much.”
“Ghanaians pretend to be working and government also pretends to be paying. So the best they can get is that the person who has taken the responsibility of taking these monies on monthly basis and assuring them that I am going to invest should do that wisely,” he added.
But, Managing Director of SSNIT, Dr. John Dr. Ofori Tenkorang has said the situation is not as a result of the investment losses.
“I want to say that the issue on investment is not what is affecting the pension. The investment speaks to sustainability because the contribution that people pay is not enough as the benefit grows, will not be enough to pay people so we have to rely on investments.”
“So I think that anything that SSNIT controls with the investment is very difficult. So we are changing the outlook investment, we will rather be a passive investor than a controlling investor,” he said.
Low pension contributions cause of low benefits – SSNIT boss
SSNIT has attributed the situation to low benefits some pensioners in the country receive while on retirement to the failure of some employers or even employees to contribute enough while in active service.
He, therefore, wants contributors to be true to themselves and make the right payments to avert these circumstances.