The Koforidua Branch of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has recovered a total of Gh¢ 5.1 million as arrears from employers who had not paid contributions for their workers since January this year .
The exercise, formed part of a massive inspection and compliance campaign aimed at expanding coverage of the SSNIT scheme nationwide as well as to ensure that employers complied with the law by paying regular contributions on behalf of their workers.
It is also an annual campaign initiated by the current SSNIT Management to reach out to about 68,567 establishments registered under the scheme.
The exercise has created the opportunity for SSNIT to examine all registered and non-registered establishments, to review their records with special concern regarding their labour force, date and stated salaries.
The initiative uses a smart analysis to identify the various loopholes that may exist which allowed employers to cheat the system by not paying the contributions of their workers or pay inaccurate contributions.
Disclosing this to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview, the Koforidua Branch Manager of SSNIT, Mr Wilson Asiamah said the initiative would help the Trust to recover unpaid contributions from employers who had failed over the course of the year to remit to SSNIT the deductions made on the salaries of their workers.
He said the important factor in calculating pensions was the number of months contributed and gave one's pension ranging from 37.5% to 60% of one's basic salary before retirement as stated in the National Pensions Act, Act 766.
Mr Asiamah explained that, should employers fail to pay or skip monthly contributions for their workers, it turns to affect the workers' pension, which ultimately end up with the workers receiving lower pensions on retirement.
Mr Asiamah said the branches within the Koforidua Area had successfully placed about 422 establishments under the SSNIT pension scheme with a total workforce of 8,322.
He said employers understanding of the scheme was increasing and this was shown by the Koforidua Area Office achievement of a compliance rate in contribution collection of 77 per cent in April as against 72 per cent in March this year.
This he said had translated to a total of GH¢3.178 million as contributions collected on behalf of 34,874 workers within the Eastern and parts of the Volta Regions.
''This initiative has taken us directly to the employers and our members have given us the opportunity to cordially engage them to educate and help them understand the importance of the scheme and how to prepare for the future by contributing now'', he stated.