The challenged posed to civil servants in getting their retirement benefits over time has been attributed to the lack of proper bio-data collection to enable them get the pensions after retirement.
Many times employees of government ministries and agencies cannot have access to their regular payment from the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation (NASSCORP) as a result of failure on their part to have a fixed account with the corporation.
With that, the lead facilitator of a one-day training workshop on Social Security Deductions and benefits for all Government of Liberia’s spending entities and Director-General for Public Information Education and Training of NASSCORP, Winston Jah, has pointed out the lack of poor working relationship between employers and employees on the one hand, and employers and NASSCORP on the other hand.
In February at the Ministerial Complex where NASSCORP in conjunction with the Service Service Agency (CSA) held a workshop for civil servants and Human Resource personnel, Jah said, “We are confronted by registration. There are many employees who do not have a social security ID number which is making it difficult for us to uniquely identify pensioners,” said Jah.
The awareness and interactive workshop where Jah made the disclosure was organized by the Joint Payroll Management Team of the Civil Service Agency (CSA) and the Ministry of Finance & Development Planning (MFDP) in collaboration with NASSCORP.
The training focused on educating civil servants about the new social security law of 2017 including the age of retirement, eligibility for retirement, notification of retirement, and pre-retirement counseling among others, and it brought together over two hundred and fifty (250) participants including Human Resource Personnel and Comptrollers from across 103 spending entities on the Government centralized Payroll.
Jah added that the three parties have the responsibility to make sure that information provided is accurate and concise to avoid future embarrassment because if one out of the 3 parties fails to perform its task, the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation takes the blame.
“It is the responsibility of the employer to make sure that all employees are duly registered with social security and the employee should be able to give out accurate bio-data to their employer. The act of the National Legislature of July 10, 1985, requires that employers within 15 working days of operation should voluntarily come to social security to register his \ her business. In addition, they should be able to register all their employees,” Jah added.
According to him, HRs have a pivotal role to play between the parties. They should report about their workers’ welfare and conditions to social security and if they hire or fire employees, it should be communicated to NASSCORP and if new employees are hired they must immediately register with NASSCORP.
“As HR, you should make sure every employee is duly registered with social security, and as you add more, you update and as they leave you update for the purpose of collecting accurate information and money collected from employees should be reported to social security every month,” he stressed.
In reference to claims and blames, Jah said: “It is the sole responsibility of the employer to look out for their employees in case of any change in physical appearance and report to social security if anything would happen in a timely fashion to file claims for and on their behalf.”
According to him, NASSCORP has a mandate to ensure that all employees are registered with the entity through the national pension scheme, welfare scheme, and the national injury scheme to work along with employers to collect bio-data of those employees, receive, investigate and process all benefits when they are due.
“If you do not have a social security number with NASSCORP, should they paid you? That is the significance of your ID number”. he added.
He also said “It is you who pay money to social security and if you do not have an ID number, you are creating your own problem. This has been the problem that people have with social security because we didn’t have an ID number for them to speedily dish out their benefits to them.”
Additionally, he said people who are found in such a situation will not be able to get their benefits on time because they have to go through a lot of verification processes which takes time. “That’s when you start to complain that your money is not coming on time. So you see how when one party fails to perform his\her duty, social security takes the blame,” the lead facilitator told civil servants and HR personnel.