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CSUC School Of Graduate Studies and Research Organizes Colloquium On: “Determinants Of Retirement Preparation Among The Informal Sector” Story By IAO

The CSUC School of Graduate Studies and Research has organized an inaugural colloquium for the 2023/24 academic year on September 28, 2023, at the Graduate Lecture Hall. Mr. Ernest Obeng, a lecturer at the CSUC School of Business presented on the topic: “Determinants of Retirement Preparation Among Informal Sector Workers in Ghana”. In his opening remarks, Mr. Ernest Obeng expressed gratitude to the organizers for the opportunity to share his ongoing research findings of the topic with the academic community.IMG_1439

He situated the background to the study and observed that he closely monitored an elderly security guard assigned to a church gate who appeared to be almost always overworked. Further interaction with the man revealed that he was a 70-year-old retired carpenter who struggles to cope with his “new” job. Occasionally, the man will doze off during the evening church meetings and neglect his security duties. “This phenomenon set me into thinking about the subject of retirement planning hence the motivation to undertake this study”, he added.

In his review of the literature on the subject, Mr. Ernest discovered that the demographics of the global population were changing more quickly. He provided a theoretical review of the term “population demographics” before proceeding with his presentation and said that: “the number of old people or people over sixty in Ghana is increasing rapidly”. He went further to explain that individuals are living longer than they did in the past, when they may pass away from minor illnesses like fever and malaria but HIV-positive individuals can live longer if they receive the proper medical care.

Mr. Obeng indicated that as of 2022, there were about two million people in Ghana who were over the age of 60, according to statistics. The shift in demographics suggests that more people are retiring, and these individuals require support from their families and the government. He emphasized that the Ghanaian government is unable to offer these folks the kind of assistance they need. According to Mr. Obeng, the ancient family structure, in which everyone was concerned for the extended family, has long since disappeared. The nuclear family system is what everyone is most interested in. In any case, it is everyone’s responsibility to plan for their retirement. He added that planning for retirement makes one happy in old age and that the benefits of excellent retirement preparation secure a comfortable financial life and better health outcomes owing to less stress.

According to the results of his study, over 75% of Ghana’s workforce is employed in the informal sector which includes workers in the agricultural and fishing industries, the craft and allied trades, and the service and sales industries. This means that just 15% of the workforce in Ghana work in the formal sector, where they are subject to a mandatory retirement plan.

He added that many people who make retirement plans just pay attention to the financial side, which in his opinion is a limited perspective on retirement. Having clear goals, financial planning (knowing how much to save), health planning (getting regular checkups and paying attention to what you eat), a living arrangement plan, and a psychological plan are all essential components of retirement planning according to him. Research has shown that retired people who are lonely die younger.

After discussing the findings of his studies, Mr. Obeng made several recommendations. First, retirement planning should be comprehensive; thus, not over concentrating on money to the neglect of others and vice versa. Second, government regulations should emphasize the need for retirement planning in the informal sector as well. Additionally, pension fund managers should provide clear programs and procedures for retirement plans.

Nearly everyone was excited by the research after the presentation and its applicability to today’s society.

After the presentation, there were questions and answers session which was chaired by Dr. Stephen Banahene, Vice President of CSUC and Senior Lecturer in the CSUC School of Business. One of the participants, Dr. Samuel B. Adubofour, the head of the department of theology, offered his own life as an example, saying that he would have altered his eating habits and chosen a healthier one if he had realized the health effects of his eating habits in his 40s.

Chairperson’s Remarks

Observing that the demographics of the global population are shifting, and that a large number of people are approaching or have already reached retirement age. Even though these individuals are in a situation where they require assistance from the government and their families, neither of these sources of support is guaranteed, and everyone has a responsibility to plan for their own retirement. A happy old age is also a result of careful retirement planning. To have a successful retirement, it is critical to make comprehensive retirement plans. The government must make sure that there is a good education system in place and that the importance of retirement preparation, while pension fund managers also develop useful and clear retirement rules and programs. Overall, this study is quite pertinent to our nation. When there are enough people who have made excellent retirement plans, the strain on the government is lessened and it is also ensured that our elderly folks won’t end up becoming burdens to families and the society at large.

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