President Tejan Kabbah yesterday cut the ceremonial ribbon signaling the opening of the newly constructed western regional office of the National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT) building at Wallace Johnson Street in Freetown.
“By dedicating NASSIT’s western region office today, every region of the country would have been provided with the means for participating in the NASSIT scheme,” he said.
The other regional offices are located in Makeni, Bo and Kenema with the head office at Lightfoot Boston Street in Freetown.
“I consider NASSIT as one of the abiding legacies of my presidency,” Kabbah said. “Its phenomenal growth and the expansion of its activities for the benefit of Sierra Leoneans are deeply appreciated.”
“[I am appealing] to Sierra Leoneans to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the NASSIT scheme,” Kabbah said. “You should not hesitate to ask staff members of NASSIT to explain how you can participate in the programme and how it can best respond to your particular needs.
Along with dedication of the new west region building, NASSIT also released its annual report.
The report shows a steady increase of registered employers, up from 2,251 in 2005 to 2,924 last year, an increase of about 29 percent. Currently, the number of employees registered stands at 126,749.
Total benefit payouts increased substantially from Le 625.8 million in 2005 to Le 1.995 billion last year, with most of the money going towards retirement benefits. NASSIT claims to have achieved by the end of last year an increase in the insured population to 126,749.
NASSIT, which was established in 2002, is a public trust created by parliament and administers the county’s pension scheme. Employers are legally required to register employees with NASSIT for contributions.
According to information provided by the organization, the scheme covers the fundamental contingencies of old age, invalidity and death, and provided the following benefits: retirement/old age pensions, retirement grants, early or reduced pensions, invalidity pensions, invalidity grants and survivor pensions and survivor grants.