The Director-General of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Dr John K. Ofori Tenkorang, has advised tertiary students to start preparing for their retirement even while in school, taking steps to secure a sound future for themselves and dependents.
He acknowledged that many of them would be preoccupied with securing a job after completing their courses but noted that while thinking about the jobs, there was a need for them to also be planning for their retirement.
Dr Tenkorang, therefore, urged them to register with the national pension scheme and start making contributions as part of the plans of securing that future they dream of.
He made the appeal last Saturday when the scheme, in collaboration with the University Students Association of Ghana (USAG), held a public education forum for students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
The forum, which was on the theme: “SSNIT! Your Security for Tomorrow,” was used to educate the students on their pension and how to prepare for it.
It was also to sell the benefit of the scheme to the students before they join the job market and be in the position to ensure that they are not shortchanged by their employers.
The SSNIT D-G said even though it was mandatory for all workers in the country to register onto the scheme, there was still the need to educate the students on the need to join the scheme and to register them onto the scheme while in school.
Dr Tenkorang asked the students not to despise small beginnings but they must start saving now towards their future from the menial jobs they did while on campus.
“You need to prepare for your pension while you are still young and healthy, as 60 years will soon catch up with you,” he stated.
According to him, the students could register as self-employed and determine how much they would contribute and with that “you could be securing your future.”
He commended the student leadership for coming up with the idea to educate the students on pensions and how to prepare for the future.
He said the event would become an annual event on the calendar of the scheme and would be extended to university campuses throughout the country.
The General Manager in charge of Benefits at SSNIT, Mrs Rosemary Maamle Sackey, who took the students through the benefits of the scheme, said SSNIT was the only scheme in the world which ensured that the minimum monthly benefit of the lowest paid member was higher than even the national minimum wage.
She said for one to qualify for a full pension, one ought to have contributed for a minimum of 180 months.
Mrs Sackey advised members to constantly update their records with the scheme and ensure that they had provided the correct information on their nominated beneficiaries to avoid delays in the processing of claims.
She said the introduction of the biometric card for members was to bring relief to members and reduce the turnaround time in providing services for members.
The USAG President, Mr Albert Oppong Kesse, was impressed with the turnout of students for the event.
He said the association decided to collaborate with the scheme to run the sensitisation programme to prepare them before they entered the job market.
Mr Kesse said KNUST held the maiden event and that it would be taken round the country to all universities.
The scheme also used the occasion to register students.