Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT): A pillar of Ghana's pension system and economic stability

Stories and facts

The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) is a key government agency in Ghana responsible for administering the National Pension Scheme. As outlined on its official website, SSNIT's primary function is to manage and oversee the pension system, ensuring income security for workers in the country. In addition to this, SSNIT holds significant investments in several of Ghana's major companies, making it a critical player in the national economy.

Established in 1972 under NRCD 127, SSNIT was created to manage the National Social Security Scheme. Prior to its formation, the Scheme was managed jointly by the Department of Pensions and the State Insurance Corporation. Initially, SSNIT operated the Social Security Scheme as a Provident Fund Scheme. However, in 1991, it transitioned to a Social Insurance Pension Scheme governed by PNDC Law 247.

Significant changes to Ghana's pension system were introduced with Act 766 of 2008, which was implemented in January 2010, replacing all previous pension schemes including Cap 30. Further modifications were made with the National Pensions (Amendment) Act 883 in 2014 to refine certain aspects of Act 766.

SSNIT's vision is "to be the model for the administration of Social Protection Schemes in Africa and beyond," and its mission is "to provide income security for workers in Ghana through excellent business practices."

SSNIT's influence extends beyond pension administration into significant investment holdings in various sectors of the Ghanaian economy. Notable investments include:

- 10% of Accra Brewery Company Limited

- 25% of Aluworks

- 30% of Ghana Commercial Bank

- 20% of HFC Bank

- 20% of SG-SSB (SG Social Security Bank)

- 10% of Africa World Airlines

- 40% of West Hills Mall

These investments underscore SSNIT's role not just as a pension administrator, but also as a major economic stakeholder.

A significant policy change came into effect on 1 January 2020, when SSNIT ceased the practice of providing lump sum payments to workers upon reaching the age of 60, as previously mandated by PNDC Law 247. Instead, these lump sum payments have been transferred to second-tier fund managers. This adjustment marks a shift towards a more structured and managed approach to pension payouts, aligning with broader reforms in Ghana’s pension system.

SSNIT continues to evolve, playing a crucial role in both social protection and economic investment, aiming to ensure the financial security of Ghanaian workers and contributing to the country's economic stability and growth.

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