CREATION OF AWARENESS AND THE WILLINGNESS TO PAY PENSION CONTRIBUTION AMONG COMMERCIAL DRIVER’S IN GHANA.
(GPRTU MADINA BRANCH)
NAMES OF CANDIDATES INDEX NUMBER
SUNNY KETEKU – WORWUI 10065111
OTABIL ERIC KWASI 10040500
EMELIA ADANU 10049961
ANDREAS SACKEY 10020245
A BUSINESS CASE PRESENTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION OF FACULTY OF MANAGEMENT, UNIVERSITY OF PROFESSIONAL STUDIES, ACCRA (UPSA) IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENT FOR THE AWARD OF BACHELOR OF BUSINESS ADMNINISTRATION DEGREE.
CANDIDATES’ DECLARATIONWe, the undersigned do hereby declare that this Dissertation is the results of our own original research and that no part of it has been presented for another Degree in any University. However, all sources of borrowed materials have been duly acknowledged.
SUNNY KETEKU-WORWUI Sign……………………..Date: ……………
OTABIL ERIC KWASI Sign……………………… Date: ……………
EMELIA ADANU Sign……………………….Date: ……………
ANDREAS SACKEY Sign………………………Date: ……………
SUPERVISOR’S DECLARATIONI declare that the preparation of this Dissertation was in accordance with the guidelines on supervision of Dissertation laid down by the University of Professional Studies, Accra.
Name: Mr. Abdulai Munkaila Date………………………….
DEDICATIONThis project work is first and foremost dedicated to the Almighty God for the strength and grace He made available to us to embark on it. Secondly, we dedicate this project to our parents for their prayers, support and encouragement. We also dedicate this project to our siblings, friends and loved ones for their encouragement.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTOur heartfelt gratitude goes first of all to the Lord Almighty for his faithfulness, love, strength, protection, grace, finances, peace, wisdom and understanding given to us during our project work. We acknowledge the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) for their support. We would like to express our deepest appreciation to our supervisor,
Mr. Abdulai Munkaila for his patience, discipline, supervision and guidance.
We would also like to thank management, the department of Business Administration, staff and the entire student populace of the University of Professional Studies for their cooperation and support during the project. God Almighty blesses them all.
Finally, we express our profound gratitude to our families, friends and loved ones for their various support and contributions to the completion of this research work. We appreciate their confidence in us that urged us on.
To all our respondents who made time out of their busy schedules to attend to us, we say we are grateful.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TOC o “1-3” h z u CANDIDATES’ DECLARATION PAGEREF _Toc511791751 h iSUPERVISOR’S DECLARATION PAGEREF _Toc511791752 h iiDEDICATION PAGEREF _Toc511791753 h iiiACKNOWLEDGEMENT PAGEREF _Toc511791754 h ivLIST OF FIGURES PAGEREF _Toc511791755 h viiiLIST OF ACRONYMS PAGEREF _Toc511791756 h ixEXECUTIVE SUMMARY PAGEREF _Toc511791757 h xPART ONE PAGEREF _Toc511791758 h 11.0 Background of the study PAGEREF _Toc511791759 h 11.1 Description of the Problem Statement PAGEREF _Toc511791760 h 51.2 Methods and Tools Used PAGEREF _Toc511791761 h 61.2.1 Interaction PAGEREF _Toc511791762 h 61.2.2 Interview PAGEREF _Toc511791763 h 71.2.3 Documentary Source PAGEREF _Toc511791764 h 71.30 Objective of the Study PAGEREF _Toc511791765 h 71.40 Significance of the Study PAGEREF _Toc511791766 h 7PART TWO PAGEREF _Toc511791767 h 9LITERATURE REVIEW PAGEREF _Toc511791768 h 92.0 Introduction PAGEREF _Toc511791769 h 92.1.0 Theoretical Literature PAGEREF _Toc511791770 h 92.1.1 Learning Awareness Models PAGEREF _Toc511791771 h 92.1.2 Social Security PAGEREF _Toc511791772 h 102.1.3 Traditional Social Security Arrangement in Ghana PAGEREF _Toc511791773 h 112.1.4 History of Formal Social Security PAGEREF _Toc511791774 h 112.1.5 Informal Sector of Ghana PAGEREF _Toc511791775 h 142.1.6 Social Security and the Informal Sector PAGEREF _Toc511791776 h 152.1.7 Factors influencing the informal sector from contributing to the scheme PAGEREF _Toc511791777 h 162.2 Empirical literature PAGEREF _Toc511791778 h 182.3 Conceptual Framework PAGEREF _Toc511791779 h 192.4 Operational Definitions PAGEREF _Toc511791780 h 19PART THREE PAGEREF _Toc511791781 h 21THE STRATEGIC CONTEXT PAGEREF _Toc511791782 h 213.0 Introduction PAGEREF _Toc511791783 h 213.1 Business needs and desired outcomes PAGEREF _Toc511791784 h 213.1.1 Strategic environment assessment of the business (Internal and external) PAGEREF _Toc511791785 h 213.2 SWOT analysis of SSNIT. PAGEREF _Toc511791786 h 223.2.1 Strength: PAGEREF _Toc511791787 h 223.2.2 Weakness: PAGEREF _Toc511791788 h 233.2.3 Opportunities: PAGEREF _Toc511791789 h 233.2.4 Threats: PAGEREF _Toc511791790 h 233.3 Organization Overview PAGEREF _Toc511791791 h 263.3.1 Mission PAGEREF _Toc511791792 h 283.3.2 Strategic Vision PAGEREF _Toc511791793 h 283.3.3 Objectives of SSNIT PAGEREF _Toc511791794 h 283.3.4 Services of SSNIT PAGEREF _Toc511791795 h 283.3.5 Organizational structure PAGEREF _Toc511791796 h 29Source: SSNIT PAGEREF _Toc511791797 h 293.3.6 Existing capacity—financial and human resources PAGEREF _Toc511791798 h 303.4 Business Needs PAGEREF _Toc511791799 h 303.5 Drivers of Change PAGEREF _Toc511791800 h 313.6 Business Outcomes PAGEREF _Toc511791801 h 31PART FOUR PAGEREF _Toc511791802 h 32RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS PAGEREF _Toc511791803 h 324.1 Demographic of Respondents PAGEREF _Toc511791806 h 324.2 Awareness of commercial drivers on social security insurance policy. PAGEREF _Toc511791807 h 334.3 Willingness to contribute to the scheme PAGEREF _Toc511791808 h 334.4 Constraints to assessing the Pension Scheme PAGEREF _Toc511791809 h 344.5 Challenges encountered by SSNIT in dealing with the Informal Sector PAGEREF _Toc511791810 h 354.6 DISCUSSIONS: PAGEREF _Toc511791811 h 35PART FIVE PAGEREF _Toc511791812 h 39CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION PAGEREF _Toc511791813 h 395.0 INTRODUCTION PAGEREF _Toc511791814 h 395.1 CONCLUSION PAGEREF _Toc511791815 h 395.2 RECOMMENDATIONS PAGEREF _Toc511791816 h 39REFERENCES PAGEREF _Toc511791817 h 41APPENDIX PAGEREF _Toc511791818 h 46
LIST OF FIGURESFIGURES PAGE
Figure 1.0: The Diagram showing the learning awareness model. Source: Endsley (1987)…. 9
Figure 2: Conceptual framework. Source; researchers own construct……………………19
Figure 3.1 Organizational structure………………………………………………………29
Figure 3.2 Structure of the SSNIT Pension Scheme……………………………………30
4.1 Demographic of Respondents…………………………………………………………32
LIST OF ACRONYMSSSNIT:Social Security and National Insurance Trust
ILOInternational Labour Organisations
NPRA:National Pension Regulatory Authority
ISSSPS:Informal Sector Social Security Pension Scheme
GSS:Ghana Statistical Service
SIS:SSNIT Informal Sector
SISF: SSNIT Informal Sector Fund
IIBA: International Institute of Business Analysis
SWOT Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threats
PESTLE Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental,
PNDCProgressive National Democratic Congress
CHRAJ: Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice
GPRTUGhana Private Road Transport Union
EXECUTIVE SUMMARYNon contribution to social security scheme without the awareness of its consequences can impede the future of an individual as unforeseen circumstances are beyond the control of one’s actions or inactions. The purpose of the study was to create the awareness of social security contribution among drivers at Madina and their willingness to contribute to the scheme. The researchers used SWOT as a business analytical tool to identify the business need and looked at the internal and external drivers that triggered the business need. The data used for this study was a primary data collected through interview and was analysed with content analysis. The study identified that information on social security does not reach majority of the drivers and steps taken by SSNIT to educate them on how beneficial social security contribution is, is not enough. The study again revealed the payment of Social Security Contribution has been unveiled to be highly influenced by the awareness of Social Security and its benefits thus to cater for unforeseen and uncontrollable factors such as old age, death, and loss of Job. It is therefore recommended that SSNIT should take this as an opportunity to exploit and educate workers in the informal sector to influence their willingness to contribute, and again ensure operational transparency across its departments by providing real time information about the status and results of various operations, processes, and transactions. SSNIT should also develop a portal that will aid the payment and tracking or monitoring of the funds being collected.
1.0 Background of the studyAll over the world, systems providing financial security for the aged are under increasing strain (Gockel & Kumado, 2003). These systems can be seen all over the world as governments put in place policies to ensure the economic and social wellbeing of the aged or the retired. The formation of the Social Security Association is to create the avenue for cooperation at the international level in the world, primarily by improving techniques and administration in order to advance the social and economic conditions of the population on the basis of social justice (Bennett, 1993). Stewart and Yermo (2009) argued that the importance of pension schemes in Africa for instance, have helped in the alleviation of demographic pressures, poverty amongst the elderly and provided support for households headed by grandparents. Simultaneously, Gockel and Kumado (2003) also point out that pension schemes are sources of income security for the aged, the disabled, the invalid and the unemployed. Kenny (2004) also stated that retirement today should only be seen as a change in lifestyle and not an end to the productive life as it was in the past. Collins-Sowah et al (2013) noted that the role of social security in reducing vulnerability and exclusion has gained popularity among policy makers, academicians, and businessmen.
The World Social Security Report (2011) shows that the major risks faced when an individual reaches old age is either poverty or income insecurity due to the inability of the person to earn income, whether partially or completely. The report asserted that social security is a right to be enjoyed by every human being and that it should be seen as a social and economic necessity, and as such society should adopt an important role in alleviating poverty and help provide economic security that will enable individuals to cope with life’s major risk or the need to quickly adapt to changing economic, political, demographic and societal needs. This has led to several policy directions towards the social and economic protection of the aged. However, the implementation of these systems has not been without challenges. Some of the challenges encountered are the inadequacy of the benefits, difficulty in capturing workers in the informal sector and scope of coverage of the working population. According to the World Social Security Report 2015, only 27 per cent of the global population enjoy access to comprehensive social security systems, whereas 73 per cent are covered partially or not at all. The report indicated that the lack of access to social protection constitutes a major obstacle to economic and social development. The report also indicated that inadequate or absent of social protection coverage is associated with high and persistent levels of poverty and economic insecurity, growing levels of inequality, insufficient investment in human capital and human capabilities, and weak aggregate demand in a time of recession and slow growth. Agreeing, ILO noticed only one in five workers is covered by adequate social security schemes, whilst the World Bank (2014) point out that 85 percent of the world’s population over 65 years have no retirement benefit at all. In sub-Saharan Africa, less than 10 percent of the older population has a contributory pension (Palacios & Pallares-Miralles, 2000).
Ghana has over the years implemented the social and economic protection direction. The first social institution for the welfare of indigenous Ghanaians was formed in 1921 by the Basel Mission for its African workers. Subsequent governments (Military and Civilian) introduced some other social security schemes in the country as the years unfolded. The early pension programme in Ghana (CAP 30) which was a form of loyalty rewarding programme has been reformed to the present pension programme, the three (3) tier pension scheme.
The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) is a Statutory Public Trust charged under the National Pensions Act 2008 Act 766 with the administration of Ghana’s Basic National Social Security Pension Scheme and to cater for the First Tier of the contributory three (3)-tier scheme. The Trust is currently the largest non-bank financial institution in the country. The primary responsibility of the Trust is to replace part of lost income of workers in Ghana due to old age, invalidity and permanent migration of an expatriate contributor from Ghana. The Trust is also responsible to pay Survivors Lump sum to nominated dependants of contributors in the event of death. The Pension Scheme as administered by SSNIT as at December 2016 had a registered membership of over 1,295,904 with over 168,455 pensioners who regularly receive their monthly pensions from SSNIT. The annual absolute growth of pensioners is over 12,000.
The Act (Act 766) that established the current Pension Scheme (Tier three (3) Pension Scheme) tasked the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) to oversee the administration and management of the Pension Schemes. Under the Act, SSNIT is to manage the basic National Social Security Scheme referred to, as the Tier 1 of a contributory 3-Tier scheme.
The other Tiers of the National Pensions Scheme are:
Tier 2 – A mandatory fully-funded and privately managed occupational scheme.
Tier 3 – A voluntary fully-funded and privately managed Provident Fund and Personal Pension Plan.
Although Ghana has adopted these several social protection schemes following the collapse of the extended family, there have still been problems with social security in the country under each of the programs or scheme adopted according to Gockel and Kumado (2003), and Kpessa (2011). The inability of the scheme to cover the entire working population particularly in the informal sector, poor fund management, inadequate benefits and irregular income in the informal sector are some of the challenges faced by the scheme
(Budu-Ainooson, 2011). Dei (2001), also indicated that the misuse of the pension fund by SSNIT and the government are some other challenges associated with the pension scheme.
Report from the Ghana Statistical Service in 2012 indicated that over half of the employed population (55.9 %) are self-employed 20.4% are employed in family enterprises and only 17.6% are wage employees. Thus most of the working populations are found in the informal sector hence the challenge in the implementation of the pension scheme. According to Ansah,(2013) the Informal Sector Social Security Pension Scheme (ISSSPS) since its establishment has not adequately responded to the need of the all-inclusive social security system or successfully extended coverage to all older persons.
A previous study undertaken by the Trust’s Research Department together with a team from World Bank came out with a report that the SSNIT Pension Scheme is not suitable for the Informal Sector due to the pattern of income in the sector which is unpredictable and irregular (SSNIT Annual report, 2009)
Dasgupta (2001) and Heal (1998) are of the view that, pension policies are unsustainable because they are based on the assumptions of growth rates that are inflated because they take no account of the costs of environmental damage that comes with it. In view of this, Ashidam (2011) argued that pension has been reformed several times and gotten to the current pension scheme, the three-tier pension scheme. Adjei (1999) also indicated that the Pension Schemes predating the current three-tier scheme faced several challenges since its inception and in order to preserve and improve upon the scheme, there have been several reforms to the Act. In addition to the changes, there have also been several judicial decisions, CHRAJ rulings and administrative instructions to guide its implementation.
1.1 Description of the Problem StatementMajority of informal sector workers do not contribute to SSNIT informal pension fund. According to Stifung (2016), 53.6 percent of employers do not contribute to the informal pension fund. The National Development Commission (2012), indicated that majority of employers and their employees’ main provision towards old age is the form of personal savings. The informal sector is crucial to the country’s fortune as over 88 percent of the economic activities take place in this sector (Ghana Statistical Service Report, 2014). The report also indicated that 61.5 percent of the population are engaged in informal activities in urban areas while 23 percent are engaged in the rural areas. One of the reasons why the informal sector continues to grow is the inability of the formal sector to generate enough jobs as required and this has pushed a large proportion of the population into the informal sector as that is the only means one can escape the hardships of poverty. This means that a large number of Ghanaians are found in this sector of the economy; however, the sector is faced with many challenges including low income, job insecurity, and inadequate support from government and inadequate access to capital to expand.
It is within this context that SSNIT Informal sector Fund was introduced to cater and provide social protection to informal workers in the economy. After more than ten years of the schemes introduction, it appears the purpose of setting it up is yet to be realised. Apart from the negative repercussion this holds for workers in the informal sector, especially after active working period, it also shows how much investible funds SSNIT has been denied of. Contribution from the informal sector to SSNIT could have improved the stock of investible funds available to the state or the pension scheme, giving the fact that, large percentage of employment is within the informal sector of the economy.
It would not be justifiable to lay blames on the informal sector workers if they do not contribute to pension schemes without first knowing whether or not these workers are aware of the scheme. An initial visit and interaction with some commercial drivers in Madina revealed that most of them (drivers) were not aware of a pension scheme for the informal sector and for that matter do not contribute to it. Those who were aware however, where not contributing to the scheme due to inadequate information and mistrust in the management of pension funds. Closeness of pension scheme offices to them was also another challenge they highlighted.
1.2 Methods and Tools UsedThe study employed the qualitative research approach. Primary data was gathered through a focus group discussion and interview with drivers at Madina. Interviews were also held with a management member of SSNIT (Informal Sector). The primary data was supplemented by secondary data from articles, journals, report on surveys and other studies conducted on the informal sector. The population of the study was SSNIT and commercial drivers at Madina main station. For the purpose of the study, the researchers’ conveniently selected seven (7) respondents. Six (6) from Madina main station and one (1) management staff of SSNIT.
1.2.1 InteractionThere was a one-on-one interaction with some drivers at Madina main station on issues pertaining to the awareness of pension scheme for informal sector workers and the reasons why they are unwilling to contribute to the scheme.
1.2.2 InterviewSome drivers at the Madina Main Station were exclusively interviewed by the researchers to ascertain and analysed their take on SSNIT informal pension scheme.
1.2.3 Documentary SourceThe secondary data for the study was sourced from the Website, monthly and annual reports of SSNIT, The National Pension Regulatory Authority (NPRA) and the Ghana Statistical Service.
1.30 Objective of the StudyThe general objective of the study was to create the awareness and willingness among workers in the informal sector (drivers) to contribute to pension scheme. The specific objectives of the study were to:
Assess the awareness and willingness of workers in the informal sector (drivers at Madina main station) in contributing to the pension scheme.
Assess the factors which inhibit them from contributing to the pension scheme.
Examine the challenges encountered by SSNIT in the coverage of the Informal Sector.
1.40 Significance of the StudyThe study will help provide valuable information to policy makers and other stakeholders to design policy initiatives to facilitate participation of workers in the informal sector in national or private pension schemes. It is envisage that this study will help provide valuable information to insurance companies and SSNIT in their design and implementation of sustainable social security schemes.
This research will contribute significantly to the body of knowledge about the need for workers in the informal sector of the country to contribute to pension schemes.
The study would help to uncover some deficiencies and reasons why workers in the informal sector of the country are unwilling to contribute to the SSNIT pension scheme and payment or contribution strategies that may need to be modified. The results of the study will enlighten SSNIT and other union workers in the informal sector and help in overcoming challenges related to Social Security Insurance in the country.
Furthermore, the outcome of this study will enable the institution’s management (informal union) to organize workshops and training to develop the habit of contributing to the pension scheme among its members.
PART TWOLITERATURE REVIEW2.0 IntroductionThis chapter reviews the theoretical literature as well as the empirical literature on the subject matter which reinforced the theorized relationships of the study. The chapter begins with the theoretical literature that describes the concept of Social Security, the informal sector, factors that influences and prevent social security contributions.
2.1.0 Theoretical Literature2.1.1 Learning Awareness ModelsThe Model was developed by Endsley (1987) to explain that there are certain unknown external variables which are beyond individuals control in the future and internal variables which are within the control of the individual. However, the unknown external variables though are beyond one’s control, one’s learning and understanding that such factors are beyond his control will help makes plans to either mitigate or prevent the consequences of such future events. According to Endsley, Situation awareness is the perception of the elements in the environment within a volume of time and space, and the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their status in the near future.
Figure 2.0: The Diagram showing the learning awareness model. Source: Endsley (1987).
As shown in figure 1, the perception or awareness of a person is influenced by the external variables (unforeseen/unknown) and the internal variables. Further, Perception or awareness influences one’s decision (action taken). The present study draws heavily from this model arguing that, the awareness of a person or worker about the likely occurrence of events such as death, sickness and old age which are beyond their control will influence their decisions to contribute to a pension scheme to secure their future. This was premised on the fact that if a person sees that it is good to plan and secure the future, he or she will make provisions for it, thus contribute to the social security scheme or insist on the payment of their social security contribution by their employers.
2.1.2 Social SecuritySocial and economic security of the aged has been a major concern for Governments all over the world. At the International Labour Conference, of which Ghana is a member, in 2001 (ILO, 2001: 2), it was agreed upon by stakeholders that “of highest priority are policies and initiatives which can bring social security to those who are not covered by existing systems”. This has resulted in the Global Campaign on ‘Social Security Coverage for all’ launched in 2003. In recognition of this need for universal Social Security and for that matter, pension schemes, the Government of Ghana initiated major reform of its Pension System in 2004. Kotlikoff and Spivak (1981) suggest that risk averse older individuals might be willing to give up as much as one half of their resources in order to gain access to an actuarially fair annuity. Pogue and Sgontz (1977) and Becker and Murphy (1988) advocated that Social Security is nothing more than a dividend paid to the old for human capital investments they made when the current workers were of schooling age.
2.1.3 Traditional Social Security Arrangement in Ghana
Boon (2007: 63) indicates that the people of Ghana had their own traditional forms of Social Security before the advent of formal Social Security. People were interested in the problems of vulnerable individuals such as the aged, the sick, widows, and orphans. It was however the extended family that was traditionally tasked with providing for these groups of persons based on the principle of solidarity and reciprocity which foster the idea among others that it was the obligation of members of the extended family to support each other in time of need.
Traditionally, it must be noted that the African family is what is referred to as the extended family and constitutes three to four generations living together in a traditional compound (Apt, 1994). Traditionally, the aged lived with their children and grandchildren or other members of the extended family who provided them with their needs. This system was enforced by the African values and norms.
However, for this traditional support system to thrive today, it depends on factors relating to the socio-economic status of those tasked with the responsibility of care giving. Factors such as low income levels and distant family relations are likely to seriously hamper the kind of help that would be given. In Ghana, low incomes have become the major obstacle to help given to the aged and other vulnerable group of persons as per the traditional arrangements for social security in recent times.
2.1.4 History of Formal Social Security
Before independence, Social Security Schemes had been introduced in Ghana although not at the national level (Boon, 2007: 65). There were a number of schemes that catered for some categories of workers who were in formal employment and receiving wages. For instance in 1940, the International Labour Organisation’s convention on workers adopted that payment in cash be made to workers who were injured in the course of executing their jobs. The workmen’s compensation ordinance (No. 52), which is considered as the first legislative endorsement in social security was passed in July 1940. Then in 1946 the Pension Ordinance (No. 42) established a non-contributory pension scheme (CAP 30) designed for senior civil servants and also the Armed Forces. This was later extended to their widows and orphans. CAP 30 started out as a non-contributory scheme with defined benefits. However, a 5% before-tax contribution was instituted for workers in the civil service and teachers while the Armed Forces were still maintained on the non-contributory plan.
In 1955, a separate Pension Plan was put together for certified teachers under the Teachers? Pension Ordinance. In effect, certified teachers were covered under the 194 Ordinance. However, senior members of the University of Gold Coast now University of Ghana, had a private superannuation scheme.
In the early 1960’s however, there was the introduction of a Compulsory Savings Scheme. Under this scheme, compulsory deductions were made from all workers’ salaries and wages and paid into state coffers. When workers reached the appropriate age for pension, their savings were paid with interest. The Compulsory Savings Scheme was to replace the Pension Ordinance however the former was soon to also be replaced by a broader social security system. It came into being with a bill known as Social Security Act 279, passed by the parliament of the first Republic. This saw the commencement of formal social security scheme in Ghana (Boon, 2007). The Act led to the establishment of the Social Security Fund which first operated as a Provident Fund Scheme and was started at State Insurance Company. Under this system, all contribution and other monies were put into the fund and when workers were due for pension, they got a lump sum with interest. The aim of the Act was to guarantee security for worker against sickness, invalidity and old age and to ensure that in the event that a worker dies their dependents will be protected to some extent from destitution.
In 1972, the Social Security Decree, NRCD 127 established the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to administer the social security scheme for Ghana to replace the State Insurance Company. Then in 1991, the Social Security Law, (PNDC Law 247) was transformed SSNIT from a Provident Fund Scheme to a Full Pension Scheme. Under Law 247, the scheme was opened to all classes of workers, both in the informal and formal sectors of the economy and unlike provisions of NRCD 127 which only allows enterprises with 5 or more employees to have them covered by the scheme, PNDC Law 247 gives the opportunity for self-employed individuals to join if they choose to. According to Kumado and Gockel (2003) “the main thrust of PNDC Law 247 is that the social security system in Ghana has been converted from the payment of lump sum benefits into a pension scheme under which periodic monthly payments are to be made to members until their death.”(p. 11).By this time Ghana was still operating two major public pension schemes, i.e. CAP 30 and SSNIT.
Aidoo-Mensah in his synopsis on “the New Three-Tier Pension Scheme- Benefits and Safeguards” asserts that over the years, disparities between the two schemes became more pronounced, which led to protests by some public sector workers on the SSNIT scheme demanding to be placed on the CAP 30 scheme which the workers considered more favourable, particularly the lump sum element. In response these concerns amongst other shortcomings of the Scheme, the National Pensions Act, 2008, (Act 766) was the promulgated in December 2008 and this set out to unify all Pensions schemes in the country. However, the main task of the new Act was to create a new contributory Three-Tier Pension System for Ghana to replace existing parallel pension schemes. In addition, the new Act sought to extend pension coverage to workers in the informal economy that had been neglected for so long.
2.1.5 Informal Sector of GhanaAccording to the Ghana Statistical Service estimate, 86.1 percent of all employment is found in the informal sector. About 91 percent of women and 81 percent of men are working under circumstances which are to a large extent not controlled, regulated or standardised by state institutions (GSS, 2008). It can therefore be said that the informal sector is the engine of growth for internally driven social and economic transformation. This is because most of the jobs needed to satisfy the labour market come from the informal sector
Since the discovery of the concept, ‘informal sector’ by Hart (1970), following other seminar works on urban informal sector in Ghana, the term has not lent itself to a comprehensive and universally accepted definition. A number of attempts made by different researchers and national authorities to define the concept have resulted in diverse definitions. Frederick and Dominik (2000) states that “attempts to measure the shadow economy, that is the informal sector, first faced the problem of defining it”. There are varied definitions of the concept in the existing literature. Two contradicting definitions are listed below that give an idea of the ideological momentum of institutional analysis.
The World Bank (2014) defines the informal economy as: ‘the activities and income that are partially or fully outside government regulation, taxation, and observation. The main attraction of the undeclared economy is financial. This type of activity allows employers, paid employees, and the self-employed to increase their take home earnings or reduce their cost by taxation and social contributions”.
The informal sector in Ghana can be traced back to the colonial era in the Gold Coast. Even at such an early stage, an essential feature of labour in the informal sector was its heterogeneous character that provided for varieties of peasant proprietors and agricultural labourers, distribution agents, buyers, transport and employees, porters, among others (Adu-Amankwah, 1999). Throughout the decades the informal sector has actually grown in the rural and urban areas of Ghana, the size of Ghana informal sector in 1998 was placed at 80 percent of the total labour force (Hormeka, 1998). This was due to the large-scale retrenchment of the labour force as overriding consequences of the structural adjustment in Ghana in the mid-1980s coupled with the inability to provide employment which have naturally gravitated towards the informal sector
2.1.6 Social Security and the Informal Sector
Ginneken (2003), in an International Labour Organisation paper, argues that the proportion of a country’s population that is excluded from social security work largely in the informal sectors.
In a second article, Ginneken (1999) poses possible reasons for the low coverage as being due to the fact that many workers in the informal sector are “not able or willing to contribute a relatively high percentage of their incomes to finance social benefits that do not meet their priority needs”(Ginneken 1999:p 279). They also find it difficult to trust the management of formal social schemes and how it is managed as they fail to understand how they operate.
The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) Informal Sector (SIS) Fund was introduced in May 2005 to fulfill the mandate of the Social Security Law 247 of 1991. This was a pilot programme administered by a specialized department within the operation division of the Trust. The success of this programme led to the establishment of the SIS Fund in February 2008 to take over the administration of the informal sector scheme by SSNIT. This is a voluntary contributory pension scheme designed primarily for workers in the informal sector which provides members with benefits that are based exclusively on their contribution.
This programme is open to self-employed Ghanaians who are aged between 15 to 59 years. The contribution to this scheme is not fixed unlike the formal sector workers who are to pay a fixed amount, and is based on member’s preference and ability. Contributions by members are divided into two equal parts and credited to individual members sub-account, that is Occupational Scheme Account (50% contribution) and Retirement Account (50%) after Life Insurance premium has been deducted.
A member is permitted to make periodic withdrawal from the Occupational Scheme Account after five month of initial contributions provided the account has credit balance. A member can only withdraw from the retirement account in contingencies like old age, disability or death. Again a member can use his or her contributions as partial collateral to secure credit from other regular financial institutions. Like their counterpart in the formal sector, members in the informal sector are also entitled to old age pension/lump sum, disability pension and survivor’s pension.
The scheme is currently operating in five regional capitals in the country with eleven contact offices. In 2005, the fund registered 6,577 members into the scheme and by the end of October 2009, the scheme had registered 49,795 Ghanaians and by December 2011 the fund had registered a total number of 91,000 members and as at May 2015 the scheme had registered about 200,000 members into the SSNIT Informal Sector Fund (SISF).
2.1.7 Factors influencing the informal sector from contributing to the schemeOver the years, confidence in the future of social insurance has steadily declined. It is sometimes reasoned that, if this is true, then dramatic steps are necessary to avoid a crisis of confidence. The best available evidence about long term trends in confidence in social security come from a survey sponsored by the American Council of Life Insurers since 1972. In most years since 1975, it asked over five million people the world over how confident they were in the future of social security systems. Would one say one was confident, somewhat confident, not too confident or not at all confident?
From the researchers stand point, factors influencing the informal sector from contributing to the scheme are;
Weaknesses in Funds Administration: These are weaknesses relating to funds administration by the SSNIT that provide the opportunities for the beneficiaries to enjoy pensions benefit during retirement and in case of emergencies. This increases the possibility of nonpayment of SSNIT pension schemes by individuals.
ii. Absence of merchant outlet: the absence of a close merchant personnel to collect funds because, most informal worker group have busy schedules which prevent them from visiting the SSNIT offices.
iii. Immediate burden on weekly, daily and monthly payment system: The fixed repayment system is difficult to be met by many individuals, depending on the nature of their business. Also, very frequent collection schedule increases the transaction costs to collect the installments to the funds.
Help Age International provided three responses as to why social security pensions are needed:
1. Older people are entitled to benefit from international commitments to end poverty but they are deliberately or by default excluded on the ground of age.
2. Older people are often disproportionately affected by poverty.
3. The majority of older people have no regular income.
4. Lastly, to prepare for global aging by initiating interventions to avert old age crises.
2.2 Empirical literature
In a study involving 100 respondents, Nunoo (2013), evaluated the old and new pension schemes in Ghana and their effects on the informal sector. This study gathered data through the use of interviews with social security policy makers and interactions with a sample from the informal sector. The data collected showed that most respondents were not aware of the existing pension scheme and its benefits.
According to Prast and Van Soest (2015), Pension awareness is often identified with and measured as pension knowledge – knowledge of certain aspects of the individuals’ own pension arrangement, knowledge of ways in which the own pension can be influenced, or knowledge of characteristics of the pension system.
A study conducted by Darko (2016) on the topic Effectiveness of the Current Three Tier Pension Scheme in Providing Adequate Social security for Ghanaians in the Eastern Region of Ghana was to investigate the effectiveness of the current tier-three pension scheme in providing adequate social security for Ghanaians. The study revealed that education and knowledge about the component of the new pension scheme was inadequate.
A research conducted by Mensah (2013) on the topic Pension Contributions and National Savings in Ghana; Trends, Prospects and Challenges. The objective of the study was to identify the prospect and challenges in the pension industry. The study revealed that, insufficient monthly benefit is a challenge to the fund.
In another study conducted by Yeboah (2015), Social Security Pensions in the informal sector: the perspectives of farmers in the Shai Osu-Doku district, with the objective to ascertain farmers’ involvement in the informal sector social security pension scheme in securing meaningful livelihood at old age, in the face of their precarious financial challenges and how existing institutional contributions have helped enhanced their participation. The study found out that farmers in Shai Osu-Doku district are willing to participate in the ISSSPS, but are unable to afford a Voluntary Defined Contribution due to irregular earnings, loss of farm lands, and non-existence institutional help to address exogenous challenges.
2.3 Conceptual Framework2371725308610Premium payments
-104775260985Workers in the formal and informal sector between the ages of 15 and 59
00Workers in the formal and informal sector between the ages of 15 and 59
4400550308610Retirement benefits, Invalidity pension, Lump sum and survivors benefits
00Retirement benefits, Invalidity pension, Lump sum and survivors benefits
Pension Awareness Pension Contribution Pension Benefits
Figure 2: Conceptual framework. Source; researchers own construct
2.4 Operational DefinitionsFor the purpose of this study:
“Social Security may be defined as any programme of social protection established by legislation, or any other mandatory arrangement, that provides individuals with a degree of income security when faced with the contingencies of old age, survivorship, incapacity, disability, unemployment or rearing children”.
According to Henriëtte Prast and Arthur van Soest (2015), Pension awareness is often identified with and measured as pension knowledge – knowledge of certain aspects of the individuals’ own pension arrangement, knowledge of ways in which the own pension can be influenced, or knowledge of characteristics of the pension system.
The part of the economy that is neither or hardly taxed nor monitored by any form of government
Benefit paid to nominated or eligible beneficiary of a decease contributor or pensioner. It can also be paid to person upon an order by a court of competent jurisdiction. (SSNIT)
It is regular payment made during a person’s retirement from an investment fund to which that person or the employer has contributed (SSNIT, 2015).
PART THREETHE STRATEGIC CONTEXT3.0 IntroductionThis chapter discusses the strategic context taking into consideration the business needs and desired outcomes: strategic environmental assessment of the business, the organizational overview (mission, strategic vision, organizational structure etc.), business needs, and drivers for change and business outcomes.
3.1 Business needs and desired outcomesThe International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA, 2016) defined business needs as a high-level representation of the business requirement needed. According to Sean Kennedy (2017), business needs analysis is an analysis tool that helps a company identify the key drivers for change and determine the best options or solutions to resolve issues or improve productivity or performance. This section of the study discusses the strategic environment analysis, organizational overview, needs, drivers for change and outcomes.
3.1.1 Strategic environment assessment of the business (Internal and external)The environment of a business is simply the forces which impact on business operations (internal, external). For the purpose of this study, the external and internal environment of SSNIT will be assessed (using SWOT) as well as the relevant stakeholders and their interest and contribution to the organization.
3.2 SWOT analysis of SSNIT.This an internal and external environmental analysis made up of the strength and weakness (Internal), Threats and Opportunities (External).
3.2.1 Strength:These are resources, attributes or other features or characteristics which SSNIT is good at and for which reason, it enhances competitiveness; e.g. market dominance as a result of Government support, core strengths, economies of scale, low cost position, differentiated products, firm reputation, a skill or important expertise, valuable human asset (well trained, experienced and educated personals). A key strength of SSNIT is the fact that it has dominance in the entire country because it is the largest non-banking financial institution solely mandated to operate in the best interest of workers. The Trust is the largest single institutional investor on the Ghana Stock Exchange and the main driver of the development of the Capital Market in Ghana. SSNIT currently holds a significant number of shares listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange (22 out of the 35 listed companies). SSNIT’s holdings on the Ghana Stock Exchange was GH¢1764.21 Million as at December 2015 representing 3.1 per cent of the total market capitalisation. The Trust has investments spread in different sectors of the country namely Manufacturing, Finance, Insurance, Distribution, Food & Beverage, Mining, Agriculture, Real Estate and Energy. Its effectiveness can be seen in the way it has implemented policies over the years and formed strategic alliance with private fund managers to manage the funds of the workers to yield sufficient returns during retirement.
This is the deficiencies in the resources, attributes or competencies which affects the operational efficiency and competitiveness of SSNIT. The weakness of SSNIT can be attributed to factors such as old and outdated retirement policies, poor cash flow as most of the retirees complained they do not receive the benefits timely, long processes and procedures in accessing retirement benefits and a very tall organizational structure which impedes decision making leading to slow decision making and bureaucracy. Frequent political and government interferences inhibit SSNIT operations hence a weakness.
3.2.3 Opportunities: These are over looked or potentially profitable areas in the competitive environment of SSNIT. Changes in technology is a key opportunity for SSNIT to rely on to offer superior services to its contributors. The advancement in technology and communication can be taken advantage of by SSNIT to ensure frequent and effective communication and education of its members and potential members, frequent feedback assessment and timely payment of benefits due. The increase in the population of Ghana which is leading to an increase in number of workforce in both the formal and informal sector are opportunities for SSNIT to explore.
This is an unfavourable situation within the external environment of SSNIT. The increase in the number of investment and financing opportunities which bring better benefits than SSNIT benefits or lump sum is a threat to the operations of SSNIT.
The opportunities and threats of SSNIT can be further assessed as Political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environment which are environmental factors and is referred to as PESTLE.
Political: government policy, regulations and rules affect the operations of the pension policy in Ghana hence affects the pension plans, decisions and regulations. This policy includes the amount required to be paid monthly, how it is calculated and these regulations affect most people especially in the formal sector where it is structured and easy to track their salaries.
Economic: cost of living, level of income, investments, money supply in the economy and taxations are identifiable factors that influence individuals and organization’s spending decisions. Thus as the cost of living becomes high, many people will try to meet the impact it has on their standard of living hence likely to direct all resources to that end leaving none for pension contribution, investment possibilities which is likely to bring greater future returns than the sum total of one’s retirements benefits will compel one to invest rather than pay pension contribution. Finally, the level of income also influences one’s ability to contribute to a pension scheme and other factors such as money supply and taxation all influences one’s pension contribution payment.
Social cultural: the beliefs, values and attitudes, lifestyle, education, and demographic factors influence one’s pension contribution decision. Other factors such as marital status and number of dependents are other social variables that influence one’s pension contribution decisions.
Technology: technological changes which bring better investment and financial opportunities compared to pension contribution during retirements may influence a person’s decisions as to whether to contribute to a pension scheme or not.
Environmental/Ecological: one’s ecological and environmental situations or surroundings may influence one’s pension contribution. If a person happens to be in an environment where most people are old or retirements conscious, they plans to put in place measures to mitigate the consequences that old age and retirement brings.
Legal: laws regarding pension contributions, minimum wage legislation and health and safety laws among others may influence one’s pension contribution planning or decisions.
Stakeholders of SSNIT
Stakeholders are people or organizations with an interest in an organization or company. They are those parties or organizations interested in the activities or affected by the activities of SSNIT. The relevant stakeholders of SSNIT are Government, Board of Trustees, Members, Pension Fund Managers, Custodians, Individuals, and other social organizations.
Government: The Government is interested in the ability of SSNIT to put in place social and economic interventions towards the aged or retired in the country to be able to cater for and afford for themselves certain basic amenities at retirement so that such burden is not transferred to the Government.
The Board of Trustees:
The Board of Trustees are responsible for the policy direction of SSNIT. The Trustees are made up of representation from government, employers and workers. It is constituted as follows:
Two persons nominated by the President, at least one of whom is a woman
Two representatives of Employers’ Associations,
Four representatives of Organized Labour
One representative of the Ministry responsible for Finance not below the rank of a Director
One representative of the Security Services who is not a member of the Ghana Armed Forces
One representative of the National Pensioners’ Association and
The Director General of the Trust
Interested in the wellbeing of their members during retirement, better payment of benefits due and better conditions.
Members: The individual members are also concerned about the ability of the pension scheme to give them the benefits they deserve after retirements.
Social Organizations: these are organizations that are usually philanthropic and are concerned about the general wellbeing of certain classes of people in the society such as the aged. They are interested in the ability of the government to put in place measures and social interventions to cater for the aged or retired hence SSNIT.
3.3 Organization OverviewThe Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) is a statutory public Trust charged under the National Pensions Act 2008 Act 766 with the administration of Ghana’s Basic National Social Security Pension Scheme and to cater for the First Tier of the contributory three-tier scheme. The Trust is currently the largest non-bank financial institution in the country.
The primary responsibility is to replace part of lost income of workers in Ghana due to Old Age, Invalidity and permanent migration of an expatriate contributor from Ghana. The Trust is also responsible to pay survivors Lump sum to nominated dependents of contributors in the event of death. The Pension Scheme as administered by SSNIT as at December 2016 had a registered membership of over 1,295,904 with over 168,455 pensioners who regularly receive their monthly pensions from SSNIT. The annual absolute growth of pensioners is over 12,000.
The Trust was established in 1972 under NRCD 127 to administer the National Social Security Scheme. Prior to 1972, the Scheme was administered jointly by the then Department of Pensions and the State Insurance Corporation. The Trust administered the Social Security Scheme as a Provident Fund Scheme until 1991 when it was converted to a Social Insurance Pension Scheme then governed by the PNDC law 247. The scheme in Ghana was reformed by an Act of Parliament, Act 766 of 2008 and was implemented in January 2010 to replace all pension schemes in Ghana including Cap 30. In 2014, the National Pensions (Amendment) Act 883 was passed to amend portions of Act 766.
Act 766 makes provision for a contributory 3-Tier Pension Scheme and the establishment of a National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) to oversee the administration and management of the Pension Schemes. Under the Act, SSNIT is to manage the basic National Social Security Scheme referred to, as the 1st Tier of a contributory 3-Tier scheme.
The other Tiers of the National Pensions Scheme are:
Tier 2 – A mandatory fully-funded and privately managed occupational scheme.
Tier 3 – A voluntary fully-funded and privately managed Provident Fund and Personal Pension Plan.
3.3.1 Mission”To provide income security for workers in Ghana through excellent business practices”
3.3.2 Strategic Vision
“To be the model for the administration of Social Protection Schemes in Africa and beyond”
Core Functions of SSNIT
Register employers and workers
Manage records on members
Invest the funds of the Scheme
3.3.3 Objectives of SSNITRegister employers and workers (employees)
Collect contributions of members
Manage records on members
Invest the funds of the scheme
Process and pay benefits to eligible members and nominated dependents
3.3.4 Services of SSNITSocial Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) render services in areas of
Processing of pension payment and benefits
Update personal information of members and pensioners
View and update statement of account for members
Enquiries of members and pensioners
3.3.5 Organizational structureThe figure 3.1 below shows the structure of SSNIT with the Director General being the head.
Source: SSNITFigure 3.2 Structure of the SSNIT Pension Scheme
3.3.6 Existing capacity—financial and human resourcesSSNIT as an entity is endowed with a lot of financial resources being known as the largest not bank financial institution. The entity structure in figure 3.1 above shows a vivid picture of its qualified and experience human resource. The workers of SSNIT are educated, experience and full of expertise.
3.4 Business NeedsDue to the high volatile economy and its impact on the citizens and the unawareness of the associated benefits of social security contribution, it has become necessary to investigate effective payment of pension contribution among the informal sector. This study therefore seeks to create the awareness and the willingness to pay pension contribution among driver unions in Ghana and to also determine the constraints to assessing insurance policy in the informal sector. This was premised on the study conducted by Stifung (2016) which revealed that 53.6 percent of employers at the informal sector do not contribute to SNNIT. The study is aimed at providing assistance to SSNIT to effectively put in place measures and policies to attract the workers in the informal sector to pay their pension fund to secure their future and to make enough information available for them.
3.5 Drivers of ChangeThere are some technological, political, social, and economical factors that are affecting the willingness of the informal sector contributing to pension fund. One of the key factors that have been identified as the constraints of the willingness to pay pension fund is lack of information. Economic factors such as the cost of living and high dependency ratio have also been identified as other constraints of payment of pension fund. Socially, the lifestyle and the perception of workers in the informal sector (drivers) have also been identified as a constraint on payment of pension fund. Politically, the governments’ tax policy, corruption level, have negatively impacted on the payment of pension fund.3.6 Business OutcomesThis study will reveal the available information concerning pension fund for GPRTU Madina Branch which determines the extent of awareness of Pension contribution. The study will also triangulate the impact of the awareness of pension fund among GPRTU on the willingness to contribute to pension fund. Lastly the study shall reveal the constraints that GPRTU employees or employers face in the contribution of pension fund.
PART FOURRESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS4.0 IntroductionThis chapter analyses and interprets data gathered from the field through interview on the subject matter. This chapter summarizes the extent of awareness of commercial drivers in the informal sector on social security insurance policy and the extent to which the commercial drivers were willing to contribute to the scheme. It again summaries the constraints drivers face in assessing insurance policy in the informal sector which is triangulated with the constraints SSNIT faces in reaching unto the informal sector with their service of social security contribution.4.1 Demographic of RespondentsFrequency Percentage (%)
Gender Male 8 100
Female – –
Age 25 – 44
45 – 64 5
Years of experience 1 – 10
11 – 20
21 and above
Figure 4.1Source: field survey, 2018
Table 4.1 shows that majority of the respondents representing 62.5 per cent fall within the ages of 25 to 44 years, 37.5 per cent falls within 45 to 64 years, with respect to the gender of the respondents. 100 per cent of the respondents were males. Majority of the respondents were between the ages of 25 and 44 years, this could be attributed to the fact that, that is the average active working life of a Ghanaian. This result was proved further as majority of the respondents representing 50 per cent have worked within 10 years as commercial drivers.
However, the SSNIT official from the informal sector has been an employee of SSNIT for the past 21 years.
4.2 Awareness of commercial drivers on social security insurance policy.Majority of respondents spoke to by the researchers claimed that they are not aware of any pension scheme designed for the informal sector by SSNIT, the following quotes support the claims made by the respondents.
‘I know nothing about the informal sector pension scheme of SSNIT’
‘I have never heard of the SSNIT informal sector pension scheme’.
However, a few of the respondents made the researchers aware that they have heard about pension scheme designed by SSNIT for the informal sector, the following quotes from the respondents buttressed this point.
‘I have heard of SSNIT informal sector pension scheme’.
‘Yes, I know of the pension scheme for informal sector’.
4.3 Willingness to contribute to the schemeThe few respondents who were aware of the scheme explained to us that they were willing to contribute to the scheme if more education and information is given to them by SSNIT. Others also said if SSNIT would be transparent with the management of funds, they are ever ready to contribute. The quote below reinforces this notion:
‘I am ready to contribute to the scheme if SSNIT can give us enough information about the management of funds and the benefits that we are to derive from it.
‘The informal pension scheme is good but I will only contribute if and only if SSNIT would be transparent with the management of the contribution.
Majority of the respondents who claimed that they were not aware of the scheme said they were willing to contribute after they were educated, on condition that SSNIT will manage the funds well, the following quotes support.
“I am willing to contribute but I am scared that SSNIT officials may embezzle contributions made to the institution.
“I am willing to contribute if SSNIT can assure me that my money will be safe and secured’
4.4 Constraints to assessing the Pension SchemeThe respondents explained that even though contributing to the scheme will secure their future when they go on retirement, certain factors are preventing them from doing so. They cited inadequate information and education on the pension scheme, high cost of living, high dependency ratio, low income, job insecurity as some of the reasons why they cannot contribute to the scheme. The quote below confirms this notion:
“I have little knowledge about the pension scheme and even SSNIT offices are not close to us”
“I only have a little amount of money, after paying bills and fees and for that matter I cannot contribute”
“The job that I do is not stable and so my income is not regular”
4.5 Challenges encountered by SSNIT in dealing with the Informal SectorThe study again inquired into the challenges SSNIT faces in the coverage of the informal sector. The following are the challenges that were articulated by respondent from SSNIT.
“The informal sector of SSNIT does not have a strong data base to monitor the performance of contributors as such depends on the data from the formal sector for information on contributors”.
“The mode of payments is not convenient for contributors to regularly contribute,
More so, it becomes difficult to track contributors in this sector since their address keeps changing”.
“SSNIT informal sector offices are not close to contributors”.
“Unlike the formal sector that has laws to enforce compliance, the informal sector
Lacks that legal capacity”.
4.6 DiscussionsFrom the data collected, we can say that information on social security insurance does not reach majority of commercial drivers and steps taken by SSNIT to educate them on how beneficial social security contribution is to them are not enough. This is supported by the Learning Awareness Model (Figure 1) which states that the perception or awareness of a person is influenced by external and internal variables. The internal and external factor that influences the awareness of commercial drivers on social security contribution was revealed to be inadequate access to information from SSNIT and the environment in which the drivers work. Again out of the seven drivers that were interviewed, two stated they were aware of SSNIT pension scheme designed for the informal sector and they got to know of it through family members that went on retirement. A study by Nunoo (2013), which evaluated the old and new pension schemes in Ghana and their effects on the informal sector revealed that the informal sector were not aware of the existing pension scheme and its benefits and this corresponds to the social security unawareness among the informal sector workers (drivers) in the study.
Following the interviewees response, it was deduced that commercial drivers’ willingness to contribute to social security was very high but they do not trust SSNIT as an institution because of the perception they have about them, the unavailability of information concerning the scheme and the non-transparent manner in which funds are managed. According to the respondents the only way they could be influenced to make an effort to pay the social security contribution is an education on social security contribution and its benefits. They again stated that SSNIT should open payment outlets at vantage points; develop other modes of payments such as mobile money.
Finally, the study investigated the challenges respondents face in accessing the social security insurance scheme. The investigation revealed that the inability of commercial drivers to contribute to the social security scheme is as a result of high cost of living, high dependency ratio, irregular income, job insecurity and lack of trust.
High cost of living
The high cost of living as stated by the respondents as a factor that inhibits them from contributing to social security scheme is a factor that is seen to be beyond their control since the respondents do not have any control over its causes. One cause of high cost of living that the researchers identified was inflation. Inflation refers to the general increase in the prices of goods and services within an economy. This has therefore affected the respondents’ readiness to save and contribute towards the scheme.
High dependency ratio
This is another factor that the respondents stated that it prevents them from contributing to the scheme. High dependency ratio has to do with the number of dependents or people that one has as a responsibility to cater for. The high unemployment rate in the country can be considered to be a contributor to the high dependency ratio since the few people who are employed have to cater for the unemployed around them.
Lack of trust
This is the last factor that respondents articulated to be a hindrance to their contribution towards the pension scheme. Trust, refers to a firm believe in someone or something, acceptance of the truth of a statement without evidence or investigation.
The mistrust drivers have towards SSNIT and its pension scheme therefore has to do with how their contributions to the scheme will be managed and the benefits that they will derive from the scheme (the money that will be given back to them as benefit). The researchers believe that the lack of knowledge about the scheme, high illiteracy rate of the respondents and alleged embezzlement of contribution funds by fund managers is fueling this mistrust. The issues of trust are beyond the control of the commercial drivers.
The economic variables being the hindrance to the payment of social security is supported by a research conducted by Mensah (2013), on the topic Pension Contribution and National Savings in Ghana; Trends, Prospects and Challenges revealed that, insufficient monthly benefit is a challenge to the fund. In another study conducted by Yeboah (2015), on the topic “Social Security Pension in the Informal Sector: The Perspectives of Farmers in Shai Osu-Doku District revealed that farmers in Shai Osu-Doku district are willing to participate in the social security scheme but are not able to afford a voluntary defined Contribution due to irregular earnings, loss of farm lands, and non-existence institutional help to address exogenous challenges. As per the conceptual framework (figure 2.0) developed by this study, the payment of social contribution has been revealed to be highly influenced by the awareness of social security and its benefits thus to cater for unforeseen and uncontrollable factors such as old age, death, sickness, loss of income and loss of job.
PART FIVECONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION5.0 Introduction5.1 Conclusion The study revealed that information on social security does not reach majority of the commercial drivers and the steps taken by SSNIT to educate them is not enough. This unawareness is as a result of some internal and external factors. It can also be concluded that Commercial drivers’ willingness to pay social security is very high but some economic variables such as high cost of living and high dependency ratio, low income and mistrust hampers them from contributing to the scheme. The study also concluded that the payment of social security contribution has been highly influenced by the perception and awareness of social security and its benefits. Thus to cater for unforeseen and uncontrollable factors such as old age, death, sickness, loss of income and loss of Job. In order for SSNIT to increase its contribution payments from the informal sector, it must develop a payment portal system to make contribution collection easier.
5.2 RecommendationsBased on the findings, the following recommendations can be made
SSNIT should take this as an opportunity to exploit by educating workers in the informal sector in order to influence their attitude towards social security contribution. This will make the informal sector aware of the various benefits social security contribution will offer to them and also enlighten them on how important it is for them to contribute in order to cater for unforeseen circumstances. The educational programs can be in form of seminars organised for the GPRTU. This again will help SSNIT to build some trust in the minds of contributors.
SSNIT informal sector should reduce member transaction processing time by Issuing smartcards with features that will allow online and offline verification of members. This can also be accompanied with effective modes of contribution payments such as mobile money.
SSNIT and should ensure operational transparency across the various Departments by providing real time information about the status and results of various operations, processes, and transactions. The effectiveness of this recommendation will make SSNIT to win lots of citizens’ trust whether in the formal or the informal sector.
To achieve real-time processing of Contribution Report and Billing. Contribution Report submissions will be enhanced through the provision of multiple access channels such as SSNIT Portal and Self Service points. This will enhance and create awareness of social security contribution among the informal sector and make the services of SSNIT to be presented just at the door step of people. SSNIT should develop portal that will aid the payment and tracking or monitoring of the funds been collected.
SSNIT should push the passage of a law that will compel workers in the informal sector to comply with the payment of contributions
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APPENDIXINTERVIEW GUIDE FOR INFORMATION DATA ON AWARENESS AND WILINGNESS TO CONTRIBUTE TO SOCIAL SECURITY INSURANCE (PENSION) AMONG INFORMAL SECTOR WORKERS (COMMERCIAL DRIVERS IN MADINA)
Demographic characteristics of respondents
1. Sex male. Female
2. Age 25-44 45-64
6. How long have you been working as a commercial driver?
1-10years 11-20years. 21years and above
Awareness of Social Security Scheme for informal sector workers
Are you aware of the Social Security Insurance Scheme for the Informal Sector?
If yes, how did you hear or know of it?
If no, what medium in your opinion will be the best for SSNIT to reach and educate drivers like yourself who do not know anything about the scheme?
Willingness to contribute to the Social Insurance Scheme for Informal Sector workers
Are you a contributor to the Social Insurance Scheme? (if yes skip to section D)
If no, are you willing to contribute to the Social Insurance Scheme?
If no, why are you not willing to contribute to the scheme?
Factors which inhibit contribution
What are the challenges that you face as a contributor to the scheme or things that hinder you form contributing?
INTERVIEW GUIDE FOR DATA COLLECTIONON ON CHALLENGES SSNIT FACES IN COVERING THE INFORMAL SECTOR FOR SOCIAL SECURITY INSURANCE (PENSION))
Demographic characteristics of respondents
1. Sex male. Female
2. Age 25-44 45-64
5. Position held at SSNIT
6. How long have you been working at SNNIT
1-10years 11-20years 21years and above
Has SSNIT being able to insure the majority of the informal sector?
What do you think hinders SSNIT from covering the informal sector of the economy?
What measures have you put in place to overcome the challenges?