Why increase contribution rate when you can’t manage what is given to you? – NAGRAT asks SSNIT

The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), has stated that it does not see the need for an increment in the current 18.5% contribution workers pay to the Social Security and the National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to guarantee their future.

According to the President of NAGRAT, Angel Carbonu, if SSNIT is unable to make proper use of the amount of money paid monthly, there is no assurance that when the amount is increased it will be able to manage it properly.

Speaking on JoyFM’s TopStory on Monday, April 29, he asked, “Why would you want us to increase contribution rate when the outcome of your management is indicated that you have failed?

“How do we call for increment when an international body has determined that you have not prudently managed the institution.

“The little that we have given you, you have not been able to render account on your stewardship then you are calling for more money?”

Mr Carbonu explained that until the leadership at SSNIT is changed even if monthly contributions are increased, it would make no difference.

“What has changed in terms of governance? What has changed in terms of government control? When you have an organisation that is infested with political appointment and instead of being accountable to the contributors, you are accountable to a political figure. Is this an institution that can justify a call that people should increase their contribution? From where I sit, the answer is absolutely no,” he added.

His comment follows a report by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which projected a complete depletion of SSNIT’s reserve by 2036 in an actuarial valuation study of SSNIT’s viability.

According to ILO, total income including contributions, investment income and other income, will no longer be sufficient to pay for annual expenditures including benefit payments to pensioners by 2029.

“Starting in 2029, total income (contributions, investment income and other income) is no longer sufficient to pay for annual expenditures. The reserve starts to decrease. During the year 2036, the reserve drops to zero” the research emphasised.

Among the major recommendations, the research suggested that contributions be increased.

SSNIT’s Chief Actuary, Joseph Poku, said although this was a good idea, SSNIT must follow some laid-down procedures before it can enforce any new increase beyond the current 18.5% of workers’ pay from their basic salary.

However, the NAGRAT President questioned whether SSNIT had lived up to its mandate considering that housing projects it developed with workers in mind could not be afforded by workers.

He stressed that he did not think he would ever support an increment but would call for a change in the governance structure of SSNIT.

Mr Carbonu said they should “make the contributors more representative on the board of SSNIT and ensure that it follows the rules and regulations in investing people’s money.”

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Source: myjoyonline.com