Employers in Ghana are required by law to make mandatory social security contributions on behalf of their employees.
For this to work, the employees must have a social security number and the employer must be registered with the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT). But how does all this work and how can employees check their SSNIT numbers?
This article will give you insight into how this can be done. Are you ready to know more about this topic? Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- Social Security Number (SSNIT)
- How can I get my Social Security number in Ghana?
- Update of Personal Records
- How To Register with Ghana’s Social Security and National Insurance Trust?
- How Social Security Numbers Work
- What is Social Security Nomination?
- Why Biometric?
- How do you Register?
- What is Biometric Registration?
- What is the Purpose of the Biometric Registration?
- Why the Biometric Registration Project
- What is the scope or the extent of work under the Biometric Registration?
- Project Scope
- Product Scope
- What is the Duration of the Project?
- How Does the Trust Plan to Register Members Nationwide?
- How would SSNIT Staff and Team Members taking part in the registration be dressed?
- How would existing members be identified for Biometric Registration?
- What happens if a Member intends to change his/her Bio-Data?
- What is expected of all Social Security members?
- What is SSNIT Biometric Terminal (BT)?
- Why a Biometric Terminal?
- Can a member also print a statement of account as many times from the BT?
- What business can a member transact with SSNIT by using the BT?
- What is the SSNIT Smart Card?
- Can one use the old SSNIT Smart Card?
- How can one obtain a SSNIT Smart Card?
- How does a member use the SSNIT BT?
- How does a member view Personal Information on the BT?
- How does a member change Personal information on the BT?
- How does a member View nominees on the BT?
- How does a member View/Print statement on the BT?
- How does a member View/Print statement on the BT?
- How does a member request for Portal ID on the BT?
- How does a member renew the Pension certificate on the BT?
- Where can a member locate the SSNIT BT?
- How can one obtain a SSNIT smart card?
Social Security Number (SSNIT)
What Is a Social Security Number (SSNIT)?
A Social Security number (SSN) is a numerical identifier assigned to Ghana citizens and some residents to track their income and determine benefits. The Social Security number was created as part of The New Deal as a program to provide for retirement and disability benefits for the old and infirm.
While the original intention of the program and the individually assigned identification number was simply to track earnings and provide benefits, it is now also used for a wide range of purposes, such as to identify individuals for tax purposes, to track their credit record, and approve for credit.
In Ghana, an individual is asked to provide a SSNIT number to obtain credit, open a bank account, obtain government benefits or private insurance, and buy a home or a car, among many other pursuits.
How can a Contributor check his SSNIT Contribution/Records Online and as well Update Beneficiaries?
Here is how to check your SSNIT contributions online in Ghana
- Request a portal identification number from SSNIT. You can do this at any SSNIT branch near you or by calling 0302 611 622.
- Login to the SSNIT website (www.ssnit.org.gh)
- Set up your security credentials.
- Check your contributions and benefits.
How can I get my Social Security number in Ghana?
Getting a Social Security number (Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT)) is so far one of their easiest things in the country. Depending on your location, you can walk into any SSNIT office in the country to get one at a free cost.
They have a lot of offices across the country depending on where you’re asking the question from. But it’s quite disappointing that you can’t do it online. So there are some difficulties if you’re not in the country.
Update of Personal Records
Do you have to inform SSNIT if you change your name?
Yes. Any member who changes his or her name should contact the nearest SSNIT Branch Office for the change to be effected on his personal records at SSNIT.
Do you have to inform SSNIT when you change your address?
Yes. If you change your address please inform the nearest SSNIT Branch Office for the change to be effected on your personal records.
Can you change your date of birth with SSNIT?
No. This is because dates of birth do not change. However, if there is evidence of a genuine error in capturing the date of birth, a change could be effected.
How To Register with Ghana’s Social Security and National Insurance Trust?
To be registered, the employer must complete the following checklist:
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Certificate to Commence Business
- List of employees with their social security numbers, basic salaries and their tier 1 contributions.
- Primary place of business and postal address of the employer
- Social Security Number of each director (those without social security numbers will need a valid ID card to be registered)
- Tax Identification Number of each director (A – TIN number can be obtained by registering with the Registrar General’s Department)
- A valid ID for each director. Valid IDs include a driver’s license, voter’s ID card, passport, or national health insurance card.
- Email address and residential address of each director.
The registration process ends with the employer being assigned an Employer Registration Number (ERN).
Note: A SSNIT official will often visit the employer’s primary place of business to conduct an interview prior to the ERN being assigned.
How Social Security Numbers Work
With very few exceptions, all Ghana legal residents (citizens, permanent residents, and temporary/working residents) have a Social Security Number.
Even non-working residents (citizens and non-citizens alike) will have an SSNIT number because of how useful it is to businesses and government entities.
The legal framework for assigning a Social Security number is provided under Section 205(c)(2) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S. Code, Chapter 7, Subsection 405). Social Security numbers and cards are issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Social Security numbers are now random streams of digits, but prior to 2011, they were not. At that time, the first three digits represented the area in which the individual was born or was from. The next pair of numbers was originally slated to represent a year or month of birth.
Because they worried about this being falsified, the Social Security Administration instead voted to have it represent a group number. Thus far, no Social Security Numbers have been reused,
Social Security and National Insurance Number: How to Get One
A Social Security number (and card) may be obtained by filling out Form SS-5 (Application for a Social Security Card) from the Social Security Administration. The form covers obtaining an original card, replacing a card, and changing or correcting SSN records.
A full list of requirements (such as documentation that proves age, identity, and Ghana citizenship/immigration status) is listed in the form. There is no cost for obtaining a card or number. In some circumstances, an individual may change their Social Security and National Insurance Trust number.
Social Security and National Insurance Trust Number and Identity Theft
Social Security and National Insurance Trust numbers are frequently used as personal identifiers and to obtain credit. They contain no biometrics and rely on documentation to prove validity. They are susceptible to use for identity theft and fraud.
A notable example is when the CEO of identity theft prevention service Life Lock used his SSNIT in advertisements as a testament to his company’s effectiveness.
His identity was later stolen multiple times. There has been some movement among legislators to separate some activities from SSNIT use, such as renting an apartment or obtaining a hunting or fishing license
SSNIT to Integrate Ghana Card into System
As part of efforts towards streamlining and improving its services, the Social Security and National Insurance Trust is set to accept Ghana Card from its new pension scheme applicants.
According to the management of the entity, already existing SSNIT customers can also have their Ghana Cards integrated into the system.
The Director-General of SSNIT, Dr. John Ofori-Tenkorang, is confident that the move will help in advancing pensions scheme enrollment across the country.
He stated that “There is going to be data sharing from National Identification Authority to us. We will basically make a one-to-one correspondence between your current SSNIT numbers and your Ghana Card number and that will be a fully seamless transition for those who have already submitted their Ghana Cards and SSNIT cards. For those who haven’t, we will through the electronic platform and in many ways reach out to you and tell you to give us your Ghana Card number, as well as your SSNIT number.”
“And then we will get the requisite bio-data information from NIA, and then we tie it into our systems so that for existing members, you come and show us your Ghana Card, we swipe it and it automatically ties into your SSNIT account. For new members, when you come to us, you show us your Ghana Card and we swipe it to get your information from NIA and then in the background, we create SSNIT account for you, and then you are ready to go.”
Last month the Ghana Revenue Authority stated that effective April 1, 2021, taxpayers will be required to use the Ghana Card Identification Number for tax purposes.
The Authority stated that this formed part of efforts to identify and rope in more eligible taxpayers, especially those in the informal sector and enable organizations to easily share important data with the Authority.
The Ghana Card which currently has over 15million bearers is a biometric national identity card that is issued by the Ghanaian authorities to Ghanaian citizens – both resident and non-resident, and legally and permanently resident foreign nationals. It is proof of identity, citizenship and residence of the holder.
The card is expected to hold all details of its bearers including, a Tax Identification Number, Passport, Driver’s license, National Health Insurance amongst others.
What is Social Security Nomination?
Social Security nomination is a process whereby a member indicates to SSNIT how his social security entitlements should be distributed on or after his death. Nominations made can be changed if a member so desires. However, any change made on a Member’s Update Form should be in the custody of SSNIT before the member’s death.
What happens if a member fails to make a nomination before his death?
His dependents may apply to the court for the intestate succession law to be applied for the distribution of his social security benefits.
How often can a member change his beneficiaries?
As often as possible.
How can I update my personal records?
You can update your personal records – change of name, change of address, social security nomination by filling a Membership Update Form which is available at any SSNIT Branch Office.
The form should be endorsed by an employer and/or some public servant and returned to SSNIT for the update to be done. Update form not in the custody of SSNIT is not valid for use by SSNIT.
In a bid to provide superior customer service delivery, SSNIT is implementing a new system to enhance its operations and services.
As part of the new system implementation, a new technology known as the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) will be used to verify the identity of members and pensioners.
This system stores the biometric information of all members and pensioners in a database for the verification of the identity of any member or pensioner at any SSNIT branch throughout Ghana.
In order for SSNIT to achieve this objective, it is necessary to collect the biometric information of all existing members and pensioners as part of the implementation of the new system.
What is bio-information?
Bio information (biological information) is a range of physical or biological characteristics of a person like facial features (picture), fingerprints, signature, eye retina and irises, voice patterns and hand measurements identification for authentication purposes.
Why do we need the bio-information?
Bio-information is required or used for identification, verification and authentication of personal information. It helps to reduce human error in identification and reduces or eliminates the need to transcribe data speeding up information processing or management.
How do you Register?
You will have to produce your Social Security number(s) with any one of the following:
- National Identification Card
- Voters’ ID
- Drivers Licence
- Employer/Employment ID
- National Health Insurance Card
What do I do if I do not have any of the above documents?
SSNIT will grant you a short interview after which you will be registered.
What is Biometric Registration?
Biometric Registration is the collection of bio-information on all members (Active Members, Inactive Members and Pensioners) through the live capturing of their Fingerprints, photographs and live signatures.
What is the Purpose of the Biometric Registration?
The main purpose of biometric registration is to collect the Biometric Information of all existing members and pensioners. It is also to generate thirteen (13) alphanumeric Social Security Numbers (SSNO’s) for existing members with 8 Digit Social Security (SS) numbers.
Why the Biometric Registration Project
This is to enable SSNIT to collect the biometric information of all existing SSNIT members and pensioners for easy verification.
What is the scope or the extent of work under the Biometric Registration?
The scope of the project defines the extent of work to be done and the expected features of the outcome. These are separated into Project Scope (extent) and Product Scope (elements of the outcome).
- Collecting Biometric Information of all existing members and pensioners.
- Generating thirteen (13) digits Social Security Numbers for existing members (Pensioners and Workers).
- Collecting additional Bio-Information on existing members as prescribed by the Biometric Registration Forms.
- Printing new membership certificates (Smartcards) for members and pensioners.
- A member is deemed to have gone through the Biometric Registration if the following have been achieved;
- Ten Fingerprints of the members captured into the OBS. Except in cases where the member has lost some fingers or all fingers. This activity is mandatory.
- Photograph of the member that has been captured into the OBS. This activity is also mandatory.
- Signature of members that has been captured into the OBS. (Optional)
- All mandatory Bio-Information of the member as prescribed by the Biometric Registration Forms have been captured into the OBS.
- Members have been issued with a new membership certificate which is a Smartcard.
What is the Duration of the Project?
The project is to last for twenty-four months.
How Does the Trust Plan to Register Members Nationwide?
The broad framework and guidelines for the project shall be issued to the Area and Branch Implementation Teams.
The teams shall develop their program of actions which will be dependent on the number of members, active workers on the Controller and Accountant General’s payroll located within the area operation of the Branch & establishments assigned and shall align with the broad framework.
The number of SSNIT pensioners to be registered by the various Branches would be determined by the assistance of SSNIT Pensioners’ Associations and the Retired SSNIT Staff Association (RESSA).
How would SSNIT Staff and Team Members taking part in the registration be dressed?
T-shirts advertising the BR exercise would be provided to all SSNIT staff to be worn on Mondays and Fridays throughout the duration of the Exercise. Team members involved with the exercise would wear their T-shirts for the entire duration of the exercise.
How would existing members be identified for Biometric Registration?
The current system used to verify the identity of members is by Thumb Print verification. Considering the numbers involved and the time constraint, it might not be convenient to manually verify each existing member before undergoing the Biometric Registration.
To ensure fast and less tedious verification of the members before Biometric Registration, a back-office activity would be carried out to further authenticate the ownership of Social Security Numbers (SSNO’s). The verification would be at various levels.
What happens if a Member intends to change his/her Bio-Data?
Where a Member or Pensioner intends to make changes to his/her biodata, the existing update procedures will be activated. Membership cards would only be printed after the necessary updates have been made.
Where a Member or Pensioner demands a proper spelling of his /her name, photocopies or scanned copies of the relevant national identity cards bearing the correctly spelled name would be attached to the Biometric Registration Form (E.g. Ablorh and Ablor or Nimoh or Nimo).
The correction would be done before approval for card printing. Members requesting a change in Date of Birth must go through the existing procedures. All other challenges with respect to the member’s bio-data not identified here must be resolved before the production of the membership card.
What is expected of all Social Security members?
SSNIT is appealing to all contributors to cooperate with the biometric registrars and SSNIT officials for a smooth exercise.
What is SSNIT Biometric Terminal (BT)?
It is one of the Trust’s several self-service points that allow our cherished members’ to transact limited business with SSNIT.
Why a Biometric Terminal?
In this day of technology, management felt the need to provide another avenue for SSNIT customers to transact business with SSNIT without going through a service person at the branch.
Can a member also print a statement of account as many times from the BT?
NO! A member can print a statement of Account only twice within the year.
What business can a member transact with SSNIT by using the BT?
A registered SSNIT member with a valid smartcard can perform the following transactions at the BT:
View Member Information (i.e. name, address details, marital details, date of first registration etc.).
- Update Member Information.
- View nominees or beneficiaries.
- Statement Viewing & Printing.
- Lodge Complaints or Enquiry.
- Renew Pensioners Certificate for pensioners 72 years and above (PNDC 247) 75 years and above (Act 766).
- Portal ID Request.
- Life Certificate Confirmation;
- How can a member access the BT?
A member can access the BT with the use of only the SSNIT Smart Card.
What is the SSNIT Smart Card?
It is a card that identifies one as a member of the SSNIT Scheme. It has the following information about the member;
Surface (Name, Date of birth, photograph, SSNO, Gender)
Chip (Name, Date of birth, photograph, two fingerprints, Gender)
It is not the same as the old SSNIT card.
Can one use the old SSNIT Smart Card?
No! One cannot use the old SSNIT card. The BT can only be accessed with a SSNIT smart card.
How can one obtain a SSNIT Smart Card?
If you are an existing SSNIT member, you can obtain a SSNIT Smart Card by going through SSNIT Biometric Registration at any SSNIT branch.
If you are not a SSNIT member, you can obtain a SSNIT Smart Card by becoming a member of the scheme by going through a registration process.
How does a member use the SSNIT BT?
Get to the nearest SSNIT biometric terminal.
- Insert SSNIT smartcard to ‘card slot’ receptacle on the BT.
- Wait until Fingerprint Verification Page is displayed.
- Put Correct Finger On Fingerprint Scanner.
A pop-up message screen should appear if fingerprint verification is successful. This will prove that you are the authorized person to use the Biometric Terminal.
How does a member view Personal Information on the BT?
There are 2 steps to View Personal Information.
- Under the Terminal’s main menu, click on “Personal Information” on the
- The Terminal will display two types of addresses.
- ‘Correspondence Address’ and ‘Permanent Address’.
- Click on the radio button to view the address.
- Go back to the Terminal’s main menu by clicking on the “Main Menu” button.
How does a member change Personal information on the BT?
The Terminal allows a member to perform updates on personal information (address only).
All the mandatory fields (compulsory fields) must be completed before one can update the information through the Terminal System. The steps are as follows:
- Under the Terminal’s Main Menu, click on “Change Personal Information” on the
- A screen will be displayed and it will contain the existing member’s personal information in the system.
- Then you change the address as you require.
- To change personal information like Correspondence Address:
- Choose the Address Type as CORRESPONDENCE ADDRESS
- Fill up all the mandatory fields that contain * sign with correct information.
- Click on the “Update” button to go to the “Update Member Information-Confirmation”
- Click on the “Cancel” button to go back to the previous page or click the “Confirm” button to update personal information.
How does a member View nominees on the BT?
- Under the Terminal main menu, click on the “Nominees” dashboard.
- Accept or reject the pop-up disclaimer to view nominees.
The BT will display a page of all the nominees for the existing member that is available in the current SSNIT Database.
How does a member View/Print statement on the BT?
Members can view or print their “Contribution Statement” for the last 12 months.
- Under Terminal’s Main Menu, click on “Statement Printing” on the dashboard.
- Click ‘’Print’’ to print the statement then ‘’Exit’’ to leave the statement printing page when you finish.
- Click ‘exit’ after viewing if you do not wish to print.
How does a member View/Print statement on the BT?
Members can Lodge Complaints/Enquiries from the Terminal and this will be assigned to the Contact Centre to resolve. Once a complaint has been submitted, a member will receive a complaint receipt for reference.
- Under Terminal main menu, click on “Lodge Complaint/Enquiry”
- Complete all mandatory (compulsory) fields before submitting the complaints/inquiry.
How does a member request for Portal ID on the BT?
Where a member did not request a portal ID during enrolment, this page will allow them to do so. A member cannot perform this transaction if Portal ID already exists. Member must have a valid email address as the portal ID and a temporary password will be emailed to this email address.
- Under the Terminal’s main menu, click on “Portal ID”
- Provide your email address.
- Click on the “Submit” button to complete the request. A confirmation email will be sent to the member’s email address provided
How does a member renew the Pension certificate on the BT?
This function can be selected by pensioner age 72 years and above (for PNDCL 247) or 75 years old (for ACT 766) only.
- Under Terminal main menu, click on “Life Certificate”
- Click on the “Submit” button
- A message box will pop up once the Confirm Life Certification has been submitted by the Terminal system. Member will receive Life Confirmation receipt for reference
Where can a member locate the SSNIT BT?
The BT is positioned at the following selected SSNIT branch offices:
- Pension House Branch
- Accra Central Branch
- Accra Industrial Area (AIA)
- Korle Bu Branch
- Legon Branch
- Airport City Branch
- Tema Harbour Branch
- Tema C2 Branch
- Koforidua Branch
- Adum – Kumasi Branch
- Asafo Branch
- Ho Branch
- Cape Coast Branch
- Takoradi Branch
- Sunyani Branch
- Tamale Branch
- Bolgatanga Branch
- Wa Branch
How can one obtain a SSNIT smart card?
If you are an existing SSNIT member, you can obtain SSNIT smart Card by going through SSNIT Biometric Registration at any SSNIT branch.
If you are not a SSNIT member, you can obtain a SSNIT smart Card by becoming a member of the scheme by going through a registration process to become a member of the scheme.