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Auditors Say SSHFC Lost Over D852 Thousand Of Employers’ Contributions 

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Omar P. Sabally, a Senior Audit Manager at NAO

By Ramatoulie Jawo 

The National Audit Office (NAO) has told the National Standing Committee on Public Enterprise (PEC) that Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC) lost over D852 thousand of Employers’ contributions between 2018 to 2021.

NAO revealed this to PEC  while Presenting the SSHFC performance Audit report on the management of Social Security funds. 

Mr. Omar P. Sabally, a Senior Audit Manager at NAO, told PEC that Contribution gaps of employers were identified during the processing of claimants. 

“The SSHFC Act 2015 required SSHFC to collect contributions from employers and can apply penalty charges where payments are delayed. The Corporation can further take legal actions to collect contributions from defaulting employers. In a sample of 220 claims, 65 cases (30%) of the claims had contribution gaps identified during the processing of the claims. Contribution gaps are months for which no contribution is paid to the employee by the employer during scheme membership. 

“The contribution gaps advice slip, which is sent to the relevant employer, details the relevant period for which no contribution is made for the claimant. Contribution gaps meant that SSHFC had not collected the monthly contributions from the employers,” Mr. Sabally revealed. 

Mr. Sabally told PEC that SSHFC communicated contribution gaps to employers during the processing of claims, instead of when the gaps occurred. 

“This is because of the time that SSHFC identified the gaps for individual employees. Therefore, claimants only realised that they have contribution gaps when they had claimed for their benefits. This untimely communication of the contribution gaps to employers resulted in the loss of contributions for SSHFC. 

Based on the contribution gaps that SSHFC raised for the 65  claimants at the time of processing their claims, the Corporation had lost GMD852,122 in contributions. This represents 8% of the total benefit paid to the 65 claimants that had contribution gaps,” Mr Sabally stated. 

Mr. Sabally further told PEC that the contribution gaps reduced the members’ benefit entitlement. 

Mr. Sabally said from their review of the contribution gap advice slips that SSHFC raised during processing claims, they (NAO) noted that claimants lost contributions ranging from GMD75 to D326,329 or 0.04% to 100. 8% of the benefits they received. 

Mr. Sabally disclosed that SSHFC has not timely pursued employers on their contributions. 

He said as a result, the  Corporation has not effectively protected its contributing members because they did not receive the benefits they deserve. 

“The cost of non-contribution is bored by the employee members. The Corporation has the mandate to collect contributions from employers. The Corporation has not effectively executed this mandate. The cost of the Corporation’s ineffectiveness is therefore transferred to the members who lose their entitlement to the appropriate retirement benefits,” Mr. Sabally stated. 

The National Audit Office further recommended that SSHFC should ensure that member accounts are timely verified and that any contribution gaps that are identified are communicated to the employer on time.

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