The SSNIT Informal Sector Fund established to provide pension scheme and investment to informal workers has accrued GH¢75million with a clientele base of 150,000.
This represents an about-200 percent jump in the Fund’s growth since 2012 when a private securities firm—NTHC – acquired it from SSNIT.
The Acting Managing Director of NTHC, Mr. Francis Apanka, told the B&FT that informal sector workers are lagging behind in terms of pension schemes and investments, and that the Fund was set up by SSNIT to bring on board the latter to secure their future upon retirement.
“One of the ways to plan a life is through investment. The pension industry is growing; it has attracted a lot of players and it is only the informal sector lagging behind,” he said.
It is estimated that about 85 percent of people who work in the informal sector are not covered under the SSNIT Pension Scheme, as the current SSNIT Pension Scheme does not suit the informal sector whose patterns of income are irregular and unpredictable.
As a result, the management of SSNIT introduced the SSNIT Informal Sector Pension Fund in 2009 to cater for and provide social protection to workers in that sector.
The pension scheme is a voluntary, contributory pension scheme designed principally for workers in the informal sector, which provides members with benefits that are based exclusively on their contributions.
Payment by a member is divided into two equal parts and credited to two separate individual sub-accounts — the Occupational Scheme Account and Retirement Account.
Mr. Apanka said in order to cultivate the habit of investment in Ghanaians moving into the future, the company has developed a strategy to make students get an appetite for investing at a very young age.
“The youth in the country will soon benefit from a financial literacy programme that the NTHC will introduce this year. The programme is expected to reach more than half a million teenagers and young adults from the second cycle and tertiary institutions.
“We all go through key stages of life — schooling, marriage, building careers and retirement. It is imperative that we plan, start small and meet commitments as they come. NTHC aims to drive this culture among the youth.
“Every stage of life comes with some financial commitment and therefore requires a financial plan. NTHC has 40 years of experience, and we believe this is one way of achieving sustainable investment banking,” he added.
He said the company is not just targetting people who can bring huge sums of money for short-term investments; rather, it is targetting people who will painstakingly learn to build investments over a period of time.
This, he said, is to expand on one of the company’s fundamental tenets — growing investments on sustainability lines rather than just quick yield.
The programme, he said, will take the form of workshop modules employing practical, everyday examples that bring concepts to life, preparing students financially for life after high school and university.
It will be run throughout the country, beginning in Accra, and is expected to take off in the 3rd quarter of this year.
Source: B & FT