This is an updated post from October 10, 2012 – Updated on November 7, 2016
Whether we like it or not, retirement security has been radically shifting from employers and even governments to the responsibility of the employee or worker. Increasingly, uninformed pre-retirees are consciously and unconsciously making hard decisions about the size and colour of their retirement nest eggs.
If you are like most people, you are probably hoping that your employer (if employed) is making those decisions for you; and if self- employed, you may not even be aware of any options beyond hoping your business income will still keep coming even in old age.
Our traditional approach to retirement planning in Africa, Ghana being no exception, has been to have an uncountable number of children in the event that at least one will turn up rich enough to take care of us when we were old. In the event that this failed, our buffer was the support of members of the external family.
Why These Methods Were Acceptable Then
These approaches were acceptable due to a number of intervening factors such as:
- Availability of standard quality, subsidized/free education
- Relatively less tasking economic environment -low cost of living etc
- Low life expectancy excuse to support large family sizes due to diseases, etc
- Lack of Information about available opportunities for retirement planning beyond the basic national pension scheme
- Administrative bottlenecks with basic scheme that rendered some contributors penniless in retirement hence made it unattractive
Why These Excuses are no Longer Valid
- Family units are becoming more nucleated and self-centered, with no room for extended family
- Costs of Taking care of large families are becoming prohibitive by way of healthcare, education, availability of employment opportunities, etc
- Advances in healthcare and technology have eliminated some diseases and increased average life expectancy
- Information overload about available choices – ignorance is no longer an acceptable excuse
The Hard Truth
We are fully responsible for the security and growth of our retirement nest eggs, not our employer, not our children and certainly not the government. All the risks of failure or success for ensuring that we have a comfortable retirement has been fully transferred to us based on the types of plans, employers responsibilities, requirement for information availability, etc.
Are we still behaving like the proverbial Ostrich when it comes to our retirement?
How much do you know about these changes, how it affects you and what you need to do throughout the stages of the cycle.
This subsequent post delves deeper into the current pensions industry structure from the perspective of a prospective retiree with useful links and resource contacts with the aim of ensuring that information is available in useful and understandable form. Stay with me.
Useful Links for Ghana Pensions
- You can also check out the National Pensions Regulatory Authority’s site for Recent Developments
- Or Contact a Trustee for Further Advice
Please share this with your friends, family, colleagues and anyone you care about to encourage them to become actively involved in their retirement security now.