The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) says it has withheld over GH¢320 million that would have gone to pensioners who may have passed away without its knowledge.
This is according to the Director General of the Trust, Dr. John Ofori-Tenkorang who explained the amount, which has been withheld since 2018, covers the category of deceased pensioners whose guarantee pensions entitlement has been exhausted.
“For persons who are on PNDC Law 247, that is the age of 72 and persons on Act 766, that is the age of 75…but at the moment, no pensioner who is on Act 766 is that old because they recently just started going on pension,” he told journalists outside parliament on July 27.
“Every year, we to have to ensure that pensioners reach out to the Trust and undertake their biometric registration…however we know that this can come at an inconvenience for pensioners who may bedridden or incapacitated and cannot come to the SSNIT,” he added.
Meanwhile, the SSNIT Director General during his response to the Public Accounts Committee on Wednesday provided further clarity on the matter and actions taken by the Trust.
“To ensure that payment of funds to deceased pensioners aged 72 years and above, under PNDCL 247 and those aged 75 years and above under Act 766 ceases, all pensioners within the stated age categories are required by policy to complete a Pensioner Certificate once every year to confirm they are alive.
“Those who do not complete the certificates are deemed not to be alive and have their names deleted from the Pensions Payroll,” he told the Committee.
He also revealed that in 2018, the Trust changed the Pensioner Certificate renewal frequency from once every three years to once a year in a move to promptly identify and delete deceased pensioners aged 72 years and above.
Dr. Ofori-Tenkorang said SSNIT has since implemented a number of measures to tackle issues concerning deceased pensioners.
These include; Electronic tracking of the one-year Pensioner Certificate renewal policy; and Automatic deactivation of names of Pensioners due for annual Pensioner Certificates Renewal in the new Operational System.