Nov 3, 2010, 12:12 PM
The Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC) yesterday held a press briefing on pension increment.
Speaking to journalists at the SSHFC head office in Banjul, Edward Graham, Managing Director of SSHFC, said the corporation has increased pension payment for its pensioners, adding that the increase serves as a cushion against inflation/depreciation of the currency and is in accordance with actuarial valuation.
“This in effect means that the assets of the federated pension scheme fund are sufficient to cover fully the value of the benefits in respect of services already completed,” he added.
According to him, it is important to note that, every three years, the pension funds are subjected to an actuarial valuation to, among other things, determine the financial sustainability of the scheme.
“Since its inception, the pension fund has awarded increases every three years without fail and this time around the minimum pension has raised to D910 from D700 respectively, an increase of 30%, to enhance the purchasing power of pensioners,” he stated.
SSHFC, he went on, is also involved into many things in terms of supporting national causes such as in tourism sector, creating employment, agriculture, fund-raising to finance education, giving scholarships to needy students, supporting the health sector and amplifying President Jammeh’s call for back-to-the-land initiative.
These, he said, are some of the activities the SSHFC does, in addition to its core responsibilities as a corporation.
Raymond AK Njai, director of public relations, said actuarial valuation comes every three years, and all processes have been done and the surplus is what is being used to increase pensioner payments.
This, he added, is aligning with a bag of rice so that pensioners would be able to have the purchasing powers to buy a bag of rice.
Alhagie Malick Foon, chairman of Pensioners Association, said the organization has a total membership of about 400, and the members are mainly people who registered with SSHFC who were working in parastals and companies within the country.
He revealed that since the inception of the association, several efforts have been made to ensure that the pensioner’s welfare is put on top of the agenda of SSHFC development activities.
He commended the management of SSHFC for what he described as a job well done by putting the welfare of pensioners on top of its priorities, adding that within a period of 12 years, pensioner payments were increased from a minimum of D140 to D910 this year.
Ebrima KS Dampha, senior public relations manager, coordinated the press briefing.