Ghana has not undergone pension reform since the 1960s when it transitioned into the CAP 30 scheme (a non-contributory pension scheme) it operates today.
Protesters in Ghana observed International Workers' Day Wednesday, by calling on the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to restructure their procedures in order to develop better living conditions for beneficiaries.
Many pensioners blame insufficient claims which have contributed to difficult living situations, and in some cases, even death after retirement. Ghanaian pensioners say it is close to impossible to live a comfortable life without participating in active work.
Expenses, such as medical bills and housing, make it difficult to cover other daily costs.
One retiree, Agnes Sackey, has been receiving a pension for the last decade, and currently receives GHS$600 monthly. She explained that the amount is not sufficient to cover living expenses and that she is forced to rely on financial support from her children.
While Sackey notes that GHS$600 is not a livable pension, it is estimated that about one-fourth of SSNIT pension recipients receive about half of that amount.
Ghana has not undergone pension reform since the 1960s when it transitioned into the CAP 30 scheme (a non-contributory pension scheme) it operates today. The government has experienced pressure from agencies such as the Trades Union Congress (TUC) to include a blueprint for a revised pension scheme in next year's budget.
Workers across the country are gearing up for this year's May Day celebration being observed on the theme:"Sustainable Pensions for All:The Role of Social Partners ". #ghananewsagency @konkrumah @MBawumia @Joy997FM @Citi973 @nccegh @NAkufoAddo pic.twitter.com/SRwlrgTbnB— Ghana News Agency (@GHANANEWSAGENCY) May 1, 2019
Databank CEO Kojo Addae Mensah says that it is difficult for Ghanaians who begin planning for retirement later in life to be prepared when the time comes.
"The mistake most Ghanaians make is that they start preparing for a pension when they are in their fifties which is a big mistake. One should start preparing as early as possible.
The TUC stated that the current pension scheme does not cover enough citizens, with only 1.5 million of the 13 million Ghanaians covered under SSNIT.
TUC Secretary-General Dr. Anthony Yah Baw calls this an unacceptable standard "for a rich, proud, middle-income country like Ghana. Something has definitely gone wrong in our economic and social policy."