Director-General of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang

The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has withheld more than GH¢312 million belonging to 21,337 pensioners due to failure to renew their pension certificates.

The decision forms part of efforts by the Trust to weed out ghost names from its payroll.

SSNIT has had severe challenges with deleting ghost names from its system in the past.

According to the Director-General, Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang, who made an appearance before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament, measures have been taken to sustain the drive.

“In fact, since we started this exercise in 2018, we have withheld over ¢312 million that would have gone to pensioners who may have died after they had exhausted their guaranteed pension entitlements.

“This means that, every year, pensioners reach out to SSNIT and get biometrically verified,” he said.

In all, 6,339 ghost names were cleared from the scheme’s payroll.

“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 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,” Dr Ofori Tenkorang added.