Mr. Manga Napari Joseph, a 67-years-old retiree of Nabayili in the Nanumba North Municipality in the Northern Region, is struggling to live after 32 years of teaching, because he’s unable to access his pension benefits from the Social Security and National Insurance Scheme (SSNIT).
Mr Joseph completed training college in 1981, and had been in the teaching field all his life, until his retirement in 2016.
He had headed over seven schools as headteacher, but after his retirement, life became so challenging for him.
Since his retirement in 2016, he has not received any of his pension benefits from SSNIT, despite having visited the regional office several times.
He was told by SSNIT that GES had retired him permanently but he had two more years before his retirement.
After staying home for two years with all the frustration, in 2018, he went back to SSNIT but nothing had changed as far as access to his pension benefits were concerned.
According to him, “On 28th November 2016, I went on retirement after receiving a letter from GES. I took the letter to the SSNIT office and then according to SSNIT, it was rather GES that retired me and that I was still left with two years with SSNIT. So with the two years, I came home and stayed in the house for the period without anything. So in November 2018, I went back again to SSNIT, and when I got there, it was a different story. I got more frustrated’’.
He mentioned that SSNIT told him that he was not qualified for the regular lump sum because he went on a reduced retirement.
“I was told, I was going on reduced pension after staying home for two years. For the lump sum, I am not qualified and that they’re going to put me on the monthly pension salary.”
Speaking to GhanaTalksRadio, Mr. Napari said that whenever he sees his colleagues, he feels life is better for them whiles he struggles.
‘’Anytime I see my colleagues, they look better and I am here, I can no longer go to farm or do anything again for myself’’.
He says it would be difficult to encourage any of his children to choose the teaching profession in Ghana, lamenting how the Ghana Education Service has failed to assist him in these trying times.
‘’I am married with six children and now look at me. I was a very dedicated teacher but in the end nothing. The most painful part is the institution I worked all my life for, GES, and the Ghana National Association of Teachers. They have taken their hands off me after giving me my retirement letter. Instead of them ensuring that I get my benefits, they’ve done nothing. I will not advise any of my children to become a teacher’’ he said.
Mr. Napari is however appealing for asistance to enable him secure his benefits from SSNIT.
‘’I am appealing for support, any individual or organization that can come to my aid to assist me get what is due me I will be grateful for that”.
When reached out for a response to the issues raised by the retired headteacher, SSNIT said it has taken note of the case, and has instituted investigations into addressing it.
Meanwhile, Mr Joseph, who is married with six children still has nothing to live on.