AN information-sharing forum to enlighten students about the importance of social security has been held at the University of Ghana campus in Accra.
Dubbed SSNIT Info Shop, the forum was to help university students to appreciate how social security could aid them to prepare, secure and take control of their lives before and beyond age 60 or in the event of permanent invalidity.
On the theme, “SSNIT! Your Security for Tomorrow,” the event was organised by the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), in partnership with the University Students Association of Ghana (USAG).
The Director-General of SSNIT, Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang, in his keynote address at the forum on April 7, encouraged participants to secure their future by registering and contributing to the SSNIT when they start working.
“The truth is that you will one day get old where you will have to retire from active work, sure you have a number of years ahead of you, but one needs to secure the future by taking keen interest in social security,” he told the participants.
He noted that the primary objective of SSNIT was to ensure retirement income security for workers and guarantee that every worker receives retirement and related benefits as and when due.
He explained that every individual on earth was exposed to the contingencies of old age, invalidity and death, but it was, therefore, within this context that social security becomes a necessity.
“Whether it is your own small start-up, or you are working for someone, I strongly urge you to register today with our officers who are here and start your contributions, because you see, the scheme is set up to receive contributions from members from age 15,” he said.
Dr Tenkorang stressed that instead of seeing old age as a distant reality, the youth should take social security seriously because everyone was exposed to the contingencies of old age, invalidity and death.
“Before you can blink your eye you have started ageing from then on, it will only be a matter of years before your active working years are over and retirement beckons.
“This is the time, when reality hits and you find your major source of income gone or dwindled to insignificant numbers, your children gone, and your health also begins to fail you; at this point, it is almost as if all the forces of the universe have conspired against you,” he added.
SSNIT to chase employers
For his part, a representative from the Corporate Affairs Department of the trust, Mr Charles Dadzi, said employers who did not pay their workers SSNIT were flouting the stipulations of the National Pensions Act.
“Your right to social security is not negotiable because it is your human right and anyone who tramples upon that right falls foul of the law to which that person in question can be prosecuted,” he added.
He noted that the trust would not relent on its quest to bring employers who refuse to pay the social security contributions of their employees to book.
For his part, a Senior Lecturer at the Economic Department of the University of Ghana, Dr D.K. Twerefour, lauded SSNIT for organising such a forum to engage students on social security.
Also, he urged the student to take active interest in the forum to learn about the scheme to secure their future.
The President of USAG, Mr Albert Opong Kesse, thanked SSNIT for partnering it to bring the ‘SSNIT Info Shop’ to the doorsteps of university students in the country.
“Under its mandate to advocate the interest of university students in the country, the USAG signed a partnership agreement with SSNIT to embark on this programme which would enlighten students about the importance of social security,” he added. —GB