SSNIT recoups over $70 million from defaulting employers

The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has recovered over $ 69,918,425.64 (GH¢378 million) from employers and organisations which defaulted in paying the monthly contributions of their workers for the past years.

A branch of the SSNIT office

In the last 3 years, SSNIT has cautioned defaulting companies and also filed legal suits against some of them.

Available data shows that in 2017, SSNIT recovered GHC111.1 million from 17,320 cases initiated against employers and organisations. In 2018, the company recovered GHC158.7 million from 19,914 cases initiated and GHC108.2 within the first half of this year against a target of GHC191.4 million.

This means that SSNIT has achieved more than 56% of the 2019 target.

SSNIT retrieved this money through a mass inspection exercise which indicated that a lot of employers were, either not paying monthly contributions of their workers at all, or not paying in full. 

The defaulting employers were given the opportunity to negotiate a payment plan with SSNIT to avoid prosecution. However, those who did not respond to the notice or comply with the payment plan faced prosecution, hence, the retrieved funds.

Commenting on this, General Manager, Operations, SSNIT, Kingsley Adjei Manu, said this was done to make SSNIT more liquid so that it can honour its monthly pension payments to retirees, and also ensure compliance.

“These are people’s contributions and when they go on retirement and the employers have not paid, it creates a problem for both the retired worker and SSNIT. So we have decided that at the end of every quarter, we will go through our books and carry out this exercise.”

“We give them the chance to pay based on an agreed payment plan. But if they don’t pay, and because we also need the money to pay our monthly contributions, we are left with no option than to take them to court. The court action is the last resort; we don’t rush in prosecuting people, we always have a discussion with them to agree on a payment plan,” he added in an interview with B&FT.

Mr Adjei said it was important for employers to honour their monthly obligations to SSNIT in order to avoid paying through the court system which attracts additional penalties.

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