SSNIT kicks off pension for self-employed

SSNIT said self-employed workers who have not enrolled onto the scheme are to visit the nearest office, register and contribute regularly

The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) will embark on a massive campaign to enrol more self-employed workers in the informal sector onto the scheme.

The initiative, dubbed: ‘Self-Employed Enrolment Drive (SEED)’, is aimed at registering 500,000 self-employed workers and reactivating 250,000 dormant contributors in 2023.

In pursuit of this agenda, SSNIT, in 2022, carried out extensive engagements with stakeholders across the country to solicit their input and support on how the self-employed can also have access to pensions during retirement.

Speaking at the launch of the programme in Kumasi on Wednesday (10 May), the director general of SSNIT, Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang, said valuable lessons have been learnt from the engagement and this has shaped the rollout of the scheme.

He said, “If we had communicated the unparalleled value and benefits the SSNIT scheme offers, not only would we see an improvement in self-compliance in the formal sector, but we will definitely have had more than two per cent of our active contributor base being self-employed.

“SEED will help redefine social security in this country and give hope to the self-employed; the hope that they can retire in dignity and comfort.”

Available data shows that out of the estimated 9.9 million working population, 6.7 million are self-employed. Out of the self-employed population, only 600,000 persons have some form of social security.

Tenkorang, who describes the situation as worrying, urged Ghanaians particularly those in the informal sector to take part in this initiative to secure their future.

The board chair of SSNIT, Elizabeth Ohene, noted that although delayed, she is happy that the launch of SEED has come at a time when she chairs the board of trustees of SSNIT.

She, however, expressed mixed feelings, pointing out that the nation has not paid attention to the provision of pensions for the self-employed.

Reports show that of the two million people in the country who are above 60 years, only 11% receive regular pensions. This means that many people in active service are burdened with taking care of their aged parents and relatives.

This trend is expected to continue if immediate steps are not taken to address it.

Ohene said, “The fact that we are now doing this after more than 50 years of existence of SSNIT is simply not right, but I am very excited and encouraged that we are finally doing so. To think that several millions of workers in the country have no assurance of monthly pensions during their old age is quite scary.”

The leadership of the various self-employed groups who were present at the launch of SEED encouraged their members to prioritise the SSNIT pension and sign onto the scheme to enjoy the benefits and income security.

The deputy minister for employment and labour relations, Bright Wireko-Brobby, lauded SSNIT for the giant steps it is taking to provide pension cover to the self-employed.

He urged the management of SSNIT to encourage contributors to periodically update the records of their beneficiaries.

He said, “Most people, after registration forget to update their records. So, we have instances where people register at an early stage of their lives and after their death, it comes out that none of their children nor spouse was nominated. I will urge the management of SSNIT to remind contributors to update their records.”

Payment platforms

Self-employed workers who have not enrolled onto the scheme are to visit the nearest SSNIT office, register and contribute regularly on their earnings using SSNITpay (an electronic payment platform), mobile money and debit cards.


SSNIT is a statutory public institution charged under the National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766 as amended by Act 883) with the administration of Ghana’s Basic National Social Security Scheme.

Currently, the Trust is the largest non-bank financial institution in Ghana. Its mandate is to cater for the first tier of the three-tier pension scheme.

The SSNIT Scheme replaces part of the lost income of members due to old age, invalidity or upon the death of a member, where nominated dependent (s) receive a lump sum payment. It also pays emigration benefits to non-Ghanaian members who are leaving Ghana permanently.

The SSNIT Pension Scheme has an active membership of over 1.9 million. In April 2023, the Trust paid a total of GHC365.01 million to 235,617 pensioners. The highest pension earner receives GHC169,725.89 per month while the lowest-earning new pensioner gets GHC300.

Reporting by Jonathan Ofori in the Ashanti Region

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