Ms Emefa Agonyo, SSNIT Public Affairs Officer, has urged the public especially formal or informal workers who are above 15 years to enrol on the SSNIT scheme to secure their retirement even if it occurred before the mandatory 60 years or the voluntary 55 years and above.
The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has cautioned the public that circumstances could force anyone into early retirement before the mandatory 60 years, therefore, it is critical to secure their future against life's uncertainties,
Ms Emefa gave the advice when she addressed the topic; “Sustainability of the Scheme and the way forward” at the –Tema Industrial News Hub Board Room Dialogue platform.
Ms Agonyo emphasized that “we should not think retirement is only at 60, as we can retire any time, looking at the risk we go through daily in moving to our workplaces and others anything can happen and retire us early.”
She said one could be discharged from active service due to some injury either sustained at the workplace, home, or at other places which makes it physically impossible for the person to undertake the normal professional work for which the person was employed or to continue with their personal businesses.
Ms Agonyo said apart from paying pension benefits to those aged 60 and above, the Scheme also has a component that takes care of persons who had retired under the invalidity pension.
She explained that an affected person needed to be certified by a medical doctor confirming the invalidity and must have contributed to the scheme for at least 12 months.
The SSNIT Public Affairs Officer said that the scheme was obliged to pay the affected person monthly pension benefit just as it was done for those on mandatory pension, adding that whenever there was an increase in benefit, the beneficiary was also entitled to it.
Citing the case of a 28-year-old factory worker in a company in Tema who had been rendered invalid and therefore retired but was receiving monthly support as his employers enrolled him onto the scheme for the required number of months before the incident.
Mr Agonyo disclosed that SSNIT in recent times was seeing an increase in such issues, and therefore advised employers, especially the private sector to pay the contributions of their workers as enshrined in the laws to enable them to benefit when the need arose.