The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) says it is to roll out a product next year that covers the over-13million workers in the informal sector.
“We have constituted a team that has been working on a product that is customised and suited to that market segment, to be rolled out by end 2020,” Dr. John Ofori Tenkorang, Director-General, said at a media conference held at Aburi last Saturday.
The Trust currently has an over-1.5million active contributor base—who are mostly in the formal sector, and a pensioner population of over 200,000. This, according to Dr. Ofori Tenkorang, means that the majority of informal sector workers are not guaranteed lifetime regular income-replacement by way of pensions.
“We will extend social protection for the working-class Ghanaians who are not currently covered by our Scheme.” He said SSNIT has implemented decisive strategies to improve customer service, brand and reputation management – which culminated in the Trust being ranked first in the Public Sector category for Customer Service in the 2018 Ghana Customer Service Index Report, released by the Institute of Customer Service Professionals.
Further, he said there is a periodic engagement with staff, which takes place during unannounced visits to various branches and departments by himself and his deputies.
He added that management also introduced the Pensioners Priority Desk in 2017 to ensure pensioners who walk into the company’s offices do not queue before being attended to. “Members of the scheme can now check their statements online and transact business with the Trust through our portal. Through this same portal, employers can now submit their Contributions Reports for validation and make payments at the nearest bank without having to visit any SSNIT Office,” he said “In the next two years, we will complete the restructuring of our customer service delivery to reduce unnecessary stakeholder exposure to staff, with clearly marked out roles to be performed by frontline staff who are properly trained to interact with customers,” he said.
He said another driver of service delivery is technology, which saves time and money. “Definitely, by the close of the year a number of key initiatives will take off. These include NIA Integration and Payments through MoMo, SSNIT App, GRA and RGD integration.”
Strengthening public education According to Dr. Ofori Tenkorang, the Trust will embark on an aggressive and sustained public education campaign. A holistic approach encompassing controlled messaging, media relations; face-to-face interactions and presentations will be rolled out to create a social security-informed society.
“We are developing messages to be played on the Intercity STC buses with over 500,000 commuters annually. “We may not be able to change the current pensions being received by pensioners; but certainly, if we are able to build a critical mass of informed workers who contribute diligently to the Scheme, the story about pensions will significantly change in the future. The same Scheme that pays someone a minimum pension of GH¢300 pays another GH¢55,000,” he said.
Deputy Director General, Kofi Osafo-Maafo, disclosed that SSNIT has adopted a new five-year strategic direction. Under it, the Trust: Plans to rebalance its investment portfolio by increasing investments in fixed income, among others.Improve non-performing loan book through restructuring of underlying investee companies and decrease equity exposure: exit/restructure non-performing investments. It also plans to improve performance of investee companies through better corporate governance and roll-out of corporate targets.Complete and monetise all ongoing real estate projects, including those in JV companies, and enhance performance of commercial property portfolios.