SSNIT Adopts Ghana Card – ID changeover starting from June 28.
All Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) contributors will have their unique scheme identifying numbers replaced with Ghana Card identity numbers starting Monday, June 28.
The procedure of combining the two identity numbers will go until the end of this year.
SSNIT contributors will no longer utilize their scheme numbers as of January 1 next year, instead transacting all business with SSNIT using their Ghana Card.
The merger is supposed to make conducting business easier because it would allow customers to use only one card for all transactions.
Regulation 7 (1) of the National Identity Register Regulations, 2012, LI 2111, as well as a directive from the National Pensions Regulatory Authority, govern the merging (NPRA).
The rule mandates the use of the Ghana Card as a form of identification for “transactions related to persons in respect of pensions,” among other things.
The Ghana Revenue Authority is working on a similar merger to allow taxpayers to utilize their Ghana Card numbers as tax identification numbers (TINs).
Everything is in place
Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang, Director-General of SSNIT, explained at a stakeholder meeting in Accra yesterday that the trust had created avenues for people to have the merger done on their phones by dialing a short code, technically known as Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), on a mobile phone.
He also mentioned that contributors might switch over via the SSNIT website. Those who were unable to utilize either platform may visit any SSNIT office for assistance in merging their numbers, he added. “The aim is for the Ghana Card to be the sole acceptable form of identity necessary for members to do business with SSNIT starting in 2022, and we think that with your help and collaboration, we can surely achieve this,” Dr Ofori-Tenkorang stated.
He added that new members to the national pension system will be needed to obtain Ghana cards as of next month in order to be accepted.
This year, the trust will host a number of stakeholder engagements to raise awareness of a smooth transition, according to the SSNIT director-General. “These engagements are designed to guarantee ongoing discussion with stakeholders and enhance the Trust-Stakeholder Partnership,” he added.
Economy in the shadows
Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, has urged SSNIT management to take steps to entice employees in the informal sector to join the pension plan.
He said that problems such as pensions and social security should be focused towards the informal sector, which employed the bulk of the country’s employees.
SSNIT, according to Mr Baffour-Awuah, must take advantage of the migration to the National Identification Authority (NIA) platform to entice informal sector labor groups to join the national pension system. “Because the informal sector is so large, we plan to engage all of the trade groups and work with them to get their members enrolled in the program so that their pensions are secure.” The minister stated that having a consistent identity system was clearly important to the government, and that this was the driving force for the massive expenditure in the national identification initiative.
“Now that over 15 million individuals have received their Ghana cards, it is only appropriate that public institutions that are required by law to utilize the Ghana Card begin the process of doing so, in accordance with the bipartisan agreement.
SSNIT was praised by the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations for bringing together key actors in the pension business to guarantee a successful exercise.
He stated that institutions should use a tripartite strategy to achieve industrial harmony.
“It minimizes fear and distrust among stakeholders when organizations engage them before launching new programs or initiatives. This is especially essential in situations when the relationship between employers, labor, and SSNIT hasn’t always been friendly, as Mr Baffour-Awuah pointed out.
After the merger is completed, I am hopeful that the typical 10 working days it takes SSNIT to process and disburse payments to retirees will be reduced even further,” he stated.
Dr Anthony Yaw Baah, General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), praised SSNIT for its transparency and inclusivity in running the initiative.
He informed SSNIT management that his organization is ready to engage with the trust to enroll members of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) and other informal sector worker organizations in the SSNIT Pension Scheme.
“The NIA’s work is laudable, and it is one of the few things we are doing properly in this country,” Dr Baah added. Mr Philip Basoah, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Employment, Social Welfare, and State Enterprises, and Mr Hayford Atta Krufi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NPRA, were among those who attended the meeting.