The recent revelations about Ghana’s Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) paint a concerning picture of the pension system.

The General Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers, Thomas Musah, has highlighted the magnitude of the issue, emphasizing that it is not a new problem but one that has been warned about in previous reports.

According to Mr. Musah, the Auditor General’s report for 2021 indicates that the government owed SSNIT approximately GH¢4.4 billion as of December 2020.

This amount, when compounded with the 3 percent penalty for late payment, ballooned to a staggering GH¢9.3 billion by December 2021, with GH¢6.9 billion attributed to penalties alone.

The issue is further complicated by the nature of SSNIT’s pension scheme, which promises fixed benefits regardless of the fund’s performance.

This “defined benefit” model, while providing security for retirees, can lead to financial strain if not managed properly, especially with the compounding debts.

The implications of this crisis are far-reaching. If left unchecked, the debt could skyrocket to trillions in a short time, jeopardizing the retirement plans of millions of workers.

Furthermore, the disparity between the retirement benefits of Article 71 officeholders and those under Article 190 highlights the inequalities within the pension system.

To address this looming crisis, a collective effort is needed. Parliament, civil society organizations, the media, and the workforce must all prioritize this issue.

It is not just about the future; it is about ensuring that retirees can maintain a decent standard of living and that the pension system remains sustainable for generations to come.

The warning signs are clear, and action must be taken now to prevent a full-blown pension crisis. Ghana cannot afford to ignore this issue any longer.

It is time to prioritize the stability and sustainability of SSNIT for the benefit of all Ghanaian workers.

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