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National: SSNIT advocates for workers’ allowances to be factored into contributions toward pension

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Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang (right), Director General of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust, addressing participants in the breakfast meeting. Picture: Graphic Online

The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) is pushing for an amendment of the National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766) to compel employers to include the allowances of employees in the computation of their pensions.

The move is to enable workers to earn bigger pensions when they retire.

The Director-General of SSNIT, Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang, announced this at a breakfast meeting called at the instance of the Trust for employers from the Greater Accra and Eastern regions last Wednesday.

“Some employees earn huge allowances but never allow for it to be included in their basic salary on which their pension is calculated. At retirement, they complain about earning small pensions but they forget that while in service, they ring-fenced their allowances for their pensions to be calculated only based on their basic salaries which may be small,” he said.

Dr. Ofori-Tenkorang said the scheme had been structured in a manner that the bigger the income on which the pensions were calculated, the better for the contributor when he or she retires.

He said the fact that some retired workers are earning between GHC10,000 and GHC120,000 per month while others take as low as GHC300, which is the minimum, is a confirmation that the more the amount on which the pensions are calculated, the better for the employee.

Against this background, Dr. Ofori-Tenkorang said the amended Act would consolidate their earnings before their pensions are calculated and deductions made accordingly.

“As it stands now, workers’ pensions are calculated on the basic salary and not gross income which includes allowances,” he explained.

According to the Director-General, the amendment would also take into account the issue of penalty to make it obligatory for the employer to pay the prevailing interest rate when they delay in remitting to SSNIT pension deductions on behalf of their employees.

Legacy investments

The Director-General added that SSNIT is restructuring its non-performing investments to enable it to generate more returns to support the pension scheme.

Dr. Ofori-Tenkorang said many of the non-performing investments were inherited by his administration in 2014 .

Consequently, an investment team has been put in place to re-trigger SSNIT’s investment portfolios for further action.

Additionally, he said his outfit, would partner other investors in areas where SSNIT’s investments were underperforming.

“What we are doing is to restructure some of the underperforming investments, especially those legacy investments that we feel are not suitable for us to be majority shareholders; we are going to invite investors who are in that business to partner us.

“The restructuring is to make sure we get the necessary returns to support the pension scheme,” Dr Ofori-Tenkorang said.

As part of efforts to boost investments, Dr Tenkorang explained that a transaction advisor had been engaged and is currently working on procurement processes to have shares in hotels belonging to SSNIT disposed to strategic investors.

Electronic payment

Also at the function, SSNIT introduced an electronic payment system to allow employers and self-employed workers pay their SSNIT contributions with ease.

The payment platform, ssnitpay, went live on October 10, 2022.

Members can now pay SSNIT contributions using their Mobile Money Wallet via USSD short code, Mobile Money POS – walk-in and Debit Card via the Trust’s Web Portal – portal.ssnit.org.gh. The innovation forms part of new measures to enhance service delivery to members and clients of the Trust.

Dr. Ofori-Tenkorang, who introduced the system, noted that members need to dial *711*9# to access the Mobile Money payment platform.

The adoption of the e-payment platform is expected to bring relief and convenience to employers and members, who hitherto had to travel long distances to a SSNIT branch or a SSNIT partner bank to pay their contributions.

Dr. Ofori-Tenkorang said payment of contributions via ssnitpay is E-Levy exempt.

He encouraged the employers and self-employed workers to use the Mobile Money channels to pay their contributions.

“The Trust has also enhanced its self-service portal. The portal now allows members and clients to perform a number of activities including viewing and downloading clearance certificates and requesting negotiation meetings for outstanding debts, among others.

He encouraged employers to pay the right contributions for their workers by consolidating the earnings of their workers for enhanced pensions. This will motivate them to go the extra mile in the discharge of their duties.

“We advise you to pay SSNIT contributions on or before the 14th day of the ensuing month. We also urge you as employers to pay contributions for yourselves because you also deserve a pension,” he stressed.

Source: Myjoyonline

 

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National: 2023 Budget: TUC to reject government’s salary projection of ₵44.9m

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Deputy-General-Secretary-of-the-Trades-Union-Congress-TUC-Joshua-Ansah

After several attempts to reach an agreement with government over an increment in their base pay, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) is expected to meet government on Wednesday to finalise a deal.

But before that meeting gets underway, the Trades Union Congress is warning that it will not accept government’s projections in the 2023 Budget.

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, reading the 2023 Budget in Parliament projected compensation of employees at GH¢44,990 million (5.6% of GDP).

Earlier, government also proposed a 12% salary increment during the last negotiation with Organised Labour but it was turned down.

 

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express on Tuesday, Deputy General Secretary of TUC, Joshua Ansah stated that they would not agree to the projected figure.

According to Mr Ansah, government must expect a fight if they turn up at the meeting with the same proposal.

JoyNews/AdomNews · TUC to reject government’s salary projection in 2023 Budget
“There is no way Organised Labour is also going to accept what has been put in the budget. Well, if the government has made up its mind that it is the way it thinks that he can actually force down the throat of workers, then we are in for a big fight, because there is no way government can pay anything below what we are expecting,” he said.

He noted that Organised Labour will not compromise on their demand for 60% increment in their base pay.

Meanwhile, the President of the Ghana Medical Association, Dr. Justice Yankson says government has created a problem by not reaching an agreement with the labour unions earlier.

JoyNews/AdomNews · Dr Yankson on organised labour and government’s negotiations
He believes the current mess could have been prevented.

“These are some of the problems that sometimes we create for ourselves. We had a whole period in which we could have sorted these things, we waited to the last end. Now we can see that we are on a collition course, it is clear,” he said.

Source: Myjoyonline

 

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Politics: Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory

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A Wenchi High Court has thrown out a petition against New Patriotic Party (NPP) legislator in the Techiman South 2020 election.

The petitioner was seeking the nullification of the poll which saw the NPP candidate, Martin Agyei Mensah Korsah, emerge victorious.

But at the hearing Wednesday, the court explained that the NDC 2020 Parliamentary candidate, Christopher Bayere, who was pursuing the matter, failed to prove the burden of petitioning.

The court was attended by some leaders of the NDC including General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia.

Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory
He was sighted leaving the court premises a few minutes before the judgement.

The NDC Parliamentary candidate had contested the EC’s verdict which gave the NPP’s candidate victory with 49,682 votes representing 50.2 percent of the total valid votes cast, whilst the NDC’s candidate had 49,205 votes representing 49.8 percent of the total valid votes cast.

The NDC Parliamentary candidate insisted that the figures were not a true reflection of the election.

According to him, per the pink sheets of the NDC agents at each of the 267 polling stations, he garnered 50,306 votes in the Parliamentary election whilst the 1st Respondent polled 50,013 votes.

Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory
Electoral Commission fined in 2021

In August 2021, the Electoral Commission of Ghana was fined GH¢4,000 by the court after the Court refused to grant the EC’s request for a stay of proceedings in the dispute on July 30, 2021.

Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory
The EC’s application for a stay of proceedings was to enable it to file a motion to challenge the ruling of the Court at its previous sitting, when it granted the petitioner a motion to amend the title of the writ.

TCounsel for the EC, Emmanuel Addae said the stay of proceedings was to enable him to file supplementary statements in support of the application filed by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) candidate, Mr Christopher Beyere Baasongti.

However, reacting to the EC’s stay of proceedings, the Counsel for the petitioner, Justin Teriwajah argued that the motion was frivolous and unnecessarily geared towards delaying the adjudication of the case.

Source: Myjoyonline

 

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Football: Asamoah Gyan’s run, Bagbin’s dance and Black Stars fans’ clean-up as fans celebrate S. Korea win in style

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It was the much-needed win for Ghanaians who were largely sitting on tenterhooks for the final quarter of the game.

And from the reactions, after the South Koreans netted a quickfire double between the 58th and 61st minutes, something had to definitely happen.

Kudus rose to the occasion, found himself at the end of a Gideon Mensah cross and curled the ball past the goalkeeper to restore Ghana’s lead and eventually sealed the game for Black Stars.

Asamoah Gyan’s run, Bagbin’s dance and Black Stars fans’ clean-up as fans celebrate S. Korea win in style
The 68th-minute winner triggered a thunderous celebration across the country and on social media.

Despite late attempts from the Koreans, the game ended 3-2 with Ghana earning a vital win in Group H.

Asamoah Gyan’s run, Bagbin’s dance and Black Stars fans’ clean-up as fans celebrate S. Korea win in style
Alban Bagbin

The jubilation started right from Ghana’s legislative arm where the Speaker, Alban Bagbin was caught on camera dancing to one of the goals on the day from his office.

The ecstatic Speaker punched the air while clad in his Black Star jersey in the company of other officials of the House.

Asamoah Gyan runs

Former Black Stars captain, Asamoah Gyan was on punditry duty at SuperSports TV.

However, the ethics of being on a live set could not suppress his excitement when the deciding goal was scored.

Filled with elation, the former skipper run out of the set in jubilation shouting atop his voice.

His iconic goal celebration was his response when asked about his reaction to some moments of the game.

Fans in clean-up mode

Now, supporters of Japan’s national team have been earning praise in Qatar for their zeal toward cleanliness after each game.

This win seems to have presented Ghanaian fans with the opportunity to emulate this off-pitch tradition.

While many celebrated the win at full-time, other fans were seen moving boxes around to collect the waste left by their colleagues.

South Korea’s Son not in selfie mood

Another interesting sight came from an official from the Ghana dressing room posing for a selfie.

The subject Son Heung-min was almost in tears after his team lost at full-time.

Otto Addo’s side will now face Uruguay in their last game looking to secure qualification to the next stage of the competition.

Source: Myjoyonline

 

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