The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has called for a review of the contribution rate of workers to enable it to sustain the pension scheme and to pay workers higher pensions.
Currently, the contribution rate is 11 per cent of basic salary but SSNIT wants it reviewed to 19.2 per cent.
At the Volta Regional forum in Ho to discuss issues related to pensions, benefit computation, among others, the Director-General of SSNIT, Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang, said there was the need for a discussion on what the correct funding rate should be for the scheme.
The forum was organised by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in collaboration with SSNIT.
Participants were taken through practical details of how to estimate their pensions.
Dr Ofori-Tenkorang said the benefits that pensioners received as compared to the contributions they make showed that there was a chance that SSNIT might not be able to meet its obligations in the future especially when more and more pensioners come on board.
“We have had external actuaries who come and look at our scheme every three years and some of their suggestions they have been making is that we should come up with an appropriate funding rate to sustain the scheme,” he said.
The time, he said, had come for the country to build a robust and sustainable scheme that would still be there for generations to come.
Responding to claims that SSNIT pensions were low, Dr Tenkorang debunked such claims, stating that there were no myths surrounding benefit computation and that pensions were “a direct reflection of salaries of workers on which they contribute”.
He described SSNIT as a “generous scheme”, explaining that the lowest paid pensioner earns more than a lowest paid worker in active service despite meagre contributions.
According to him, the system put in place did not create the opportunity for SSNIT workers to steal people’s pensions and in a situation whereby there was a wrong computation of benefits, it could be easily rectified.
“SSNIT does not cheat workers. I can’t cheat you; SSNIT workers cannot cheat you too. If they don’t even pay you the right amount, they can’t put that money in the pocket because wrong computation can easily be corrected,” he told members of labour groups and workers at the forum.
The SSNIT boss mentioned that SSNIT had embarked on an aggressive public education agenda to promote knowledge of the scheme among others and for that matter has rolled out the second phase of infoshop in five universities to empower next generation of workers on their right to the scheme.
The Deputy Secretary General of TUC, Mr Joshua Ansah, said pensions had been a major concern for workers in Ghana and that was why they felt it necessary to bring the top hierarchy of SSNIT to address the concerns for workers.
He urged workers to take an active interest in their social security and retirement planning.
Source: Citi Business News
Twellium Foundation Fulfils Its Promise To The People Of Dzabupko Community By Constructing A Six Classroom Block.
In line with the ultimate goal of changing people’s lives with every bottle of Verna Mineral Water purchased. The story of Dzabukpo community in the Volta Region came to a climax when Twellium Foundation fulfilled its promised to the people.
Earlier this year, the subsidiary in charge of social change under the Twellium Industrial Company, Twellium Foundation embarked on a journey to bring light and hope to the people of Dzabukpo. Mainly by constructing a classroom block to help nurture and develop the minds of the young ones.
After handing over a two-unit classroom block and washrooms to the people in July, Twellium Foundation further promised to construct a six classroom block for the community.
For every Verna Mineral Water purchased, a brick was laid. And with support from UN Youth, On The Road, celebrities including Fella Makafui, Nana Aba Anamoah, Victoria Lebene and most importantly, our consumers, the vision came to fruition on October 5, when the building was inaugurated.
According to a post by Nana Aba Anamoah, a renowned news anchor and tv presenter on her Instagram account, she wrote ‘Verna Mineral Water is changing the narrative one step at a time.’
Fella Makafui also posted on her Instagram to celebrate the purpose of life in relation to the inauguration on October 5. Which according to her is rooted in service to one another and most importantly reaching down to the less privileged and lifting them up.
Verna Mineral Water is still in the business of changing people’s lives. And Twellium Foundation can only to more when you drink more.
“Unused Mobile Data Should Not Expire. – Mrs. Ursula Owusu To Telcos
The Ministry of Communications wants mobile network operators (MNO) in Ghana to desist from allowing all unused data and voice bundles purchased by subscribers from expiring.
In a new directive issued by the Ministry to the network operators, it said, "all unused data and voice bundles purchased by subscribers do not expire and must be rolled over with the next recharge."
The directive was contained in a letter dated October 9, 2019, signed by the Minister of Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu Ekuful and addressed to the Director-General of the National Communications Authority (NCA), Mr Joe Anokye with a copy to the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of MTN and Vodafone as well as the two Deputy Ministers of Communication, Mr George Nenyi Andah and Mr Vincent Sowah-Odotei.
The letter, a copy of which has been by Graphic Online states that the move was following a series of meetings held between the Ministry, NCA and the MNOs.
The letter explained that the directive was coming as a result of the increase in the Communication Service Tax (CST) from 6% to 9% and the subsequent decision by the MNOs to pass the entire burden of CST to subscribers contrary to a previous arrangement.
"We must emphasise that the fact that CST was increased from the existing rate of 6% to 9% effective 4th September 2019. The tax has been in existence since 2008 and was increased to provide revenue for cybersecurity initiatives to protect the digital infrastructure and policies being used by both the public and private sector."
The letter stated that, "At the series of meetings held between the Ministry of Communications, Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and the NCA on 7th and 8th October, 2019, we were informed that prior to 4th September 2019, MNOs had not been passing on the CST to subscribers but had decided to take advantage of the 3% increase to pass on the entire tax to subscribers. This has effectively increased their profit margin at the expense of subscribers."
It said all efforts to get them [MNOs) to revert to the September 2019 situation has failed as they "literally exact their pound of flesh from their consumers."
The Ministry explained that to help minimise the negative impact of the current mode of deduction of the CST, it has therefore directed that "CST should be treated the same way VAT, NHIL, GETFund levy and all other taxes and levies imposed on entities doing business in Ghana are treated."
It said the "extraordinary upfront deduction of CST and notification of same to subscribers must stop with immediate effect."
"All unused data and voice bundles purchased by subscribers do not expire and must be rolled over with the next recharge."
"MNOs will be subjected to strict compliance with existing Quality of Service (QoS) standard to ensure value for the subscribers' money in accordance with their license obligations," it added.
The letter indicated that the directives were to take immediate effect.
Google Might Announce A 5G Pixel 4 Next Week.
Google appears to be working on a 5G version of the Pixel 4, and it’s possible the phone will be shown as early as next week, according to Nikkei. The standard versions of the Pixel 4, which will be announced at an event next Tuesday, will only support LTE. But Nikkei says that Google has begun “test production” on a model of the phone that includes 5G, too.
It’s not clear when the 5G model will be previewed or released, though. Nikkei says it could be shown next week, but its sources said the announcement could also be held until spring to appear alongside a new budget phone, a successor to the Pixel 3A.
If the phone is revealed on Tuesday, it’s likely that it would just be a teaser for a launch later on. It sounds as though development isn’t finished, and devices aren’t ready to go into production yet. Such an early tease seems somewhat unlikely: Pixel 3 sales were slow at launch last year, and Google would risk slowing sales of this year’s model by previewing a higher-end version that no one can buy yet.
Either way, the goal seems to be getting a 5G phone on the market within the next year, ahead of a 5G iPhone that’s expected next September. 5G networks are still in their infancy, and for consumers, there’s still not a lot of reason to get one of these phones. But being early to 5G could still help Google get some attention for its phone line.
Nikkei reports that Google might also unveil a new smartwatch and a laptop at Tuesday’s event. A new version of the Pixelbook has already been rumored, but a smartwatch isn’t something we’ve heard about. Google hasn’t had much luck with smartwatches in the past (and Android smartwatches aren’t in a particularly great place right now), but given how many are on the market, it doesn’t seem like it’d be all that hard for Google to put one together if it really wanted to.
Volvo’s First EV Will Run Native Android.
Volvo is one week away from unveiling the first EV under its own brand, an all-electric version of the company’s popular XC40 SUV. On Wednesday, the Swedish automaker said the car will mark another first, too: it will be the first Volvo car with an infotainment system built on Google’s new embedded Android Automotive software.
That means the new electric XC40 will come with features and apps like Google Assistant and Google Maps built in, with no need for an Android smartphone. The SUV’s infotainment system will also have access to the Play Store, allowing owners to download apps that Google’s approved for automotive use. Built-in maps, assistant, and Play Store — no phone required
We’ve known for more than two years that Volvo was working on integrating Android into its cars. In fact, Google showed off an early version of the software running on a gas-powered XC40 at its 2018 I/O conference. Now, this won’t necessarily be the first car with embedded Android, nor will it be the first all-electric in the wider Volvo Group. Volvo’s performance sub-brand Polestar has claimed both of those titles with its Polestar 2 EV, which is slated to go on sale in 2020. But Volvo’s XC40 is a more affordable, higher-volume car that will reach more customers.
The deep integration of Android will allow drivers and passengers to use Google Assistant to change things like climate settings, and it will also enable over-the-air updates that can add new features or address some maintenance issues, according to Volvo. And yes, Google and Volvo’s system will allow people to plug their iPhones in and use Apple CarPlay.
While all of this added functionality will make for a different experience compared to what is currently available inside a Volvo car, the new infotainment system will still look familiar to anyone who’s used the automaker’s existing Sensus software.
That’s one of the main goals of this whole partnership model Google’s pursuing. The tech giant provides a reliable software backbone, which each automaker gets to develop and brand to their liking. Beyond Volvo, Google’s also signed up big names like General Motors and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. It’s a far cry from a few years ago when automakers were so hesitant to let tech companies take over any small slice of the in-car experience that many slow-rolled their initial adoptions of Android Auto and CarPlay.