The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) developed a separate social security scheme purposely tailored to suit the needs of workers in the Informal Sector of Ghana after studies undertaken by the Trust’s Research Department and corroborated by a team from the World Bank to the effect that the SSNIT Pension Scheme is not suited to the Informal Sector due to the pattern of incomes in the sector, which is essentially unpredictable and irregular.
The study also showed that workers in the informal sector are however willing to sign unto a social security scheme, which can provide them with long-term and short-term financial benefits since most of them require financial support to boost their businesses and thereby increase their incomes.
SSNIT therefore introduced the Informal Sector Pension Scheme, on pilot basis, in May 2005. The administration of the Scheme was undertaken by a specialised Department within the Operations Division of the Trust.
The SSNIT Informal Sector 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. Members employed in the formal sector as well as Ghanaians living abroad can also join the Scheme.
Based on the positive evaluation of the pilot programme, the Management of SSNIT, SSNIT Informal Sector Fund (SISF) was incorporated under the Companies code as a company limited by Guarantee with SSNIT as the sole Shareholder in 2008.
SSNIT Informal Sector Fund (SISF) was therefore set up in February 2008 to take over the administration of the SSNIT Informal Sector Pension Scheme that was initiated by the Trust.