Available data from the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has revealed that less than 50 percent of employers pay their employees pension contributions by the 14th of the month – as required by law.
What this implies is that the compliance level of many employers in ensuring swift payment of their workers’ pension contributions has not been encouraging. This was revealed by the Director General of the Trust, Dr. John Ofori-Tenkorang during Organised Labour Pre-May Day Forum held last Wednesday in Accra.
According to him, his office has been receiving petitions to waive the three percent monthly penalty payment levied on employers who fail to comply with the mandatory date and measures are underway to address it.
“Penalty is a misnomer because what we are looking for is to be able to get value for the money. When you pay money at later date, it has to accrue interest. Aside from the interest component, there has to be a deterrent factor that will make sure employers pay the contribution on time to sustain the scheme”, he stressed.
To curtail this practice and ensure outmost compliance to this effect, SSNIT has taken measures to streamline prompt payment of contributions by making the process more flexible and convenient for employers.
Henceforth, employers can now submit the list of their employees and their corresponding salary earnings online and make payment at designated banks. Hitherto, such transactions could only be done at specific SSNIT branches.
This initiative is meant to streamline activities of SSNIT, by leveraging on technology and digitization to improve on administrative systems by automating some processes to bring ease to employers that would in turn contribute to convenience in doing business in the country.
According to SSNIT, the process of hauling employers before the court for criminal sanctions has not been the Scheme’s primary intentions as this measure would only be taken as the last resort, stressing that if people trust the scheme, employers themselves would voluntarily comply.
Again, where companies face issues with cashflows, a negotiated payment plan has been instituted by SSNIT to enable the employer carry on with their business.
By Dundas Whigham