Mr Charles Adama, a former Northern Regional Accountant, has advised workers especially Public and Civil Servants to plan properly during active service in order not to live miserable lives on retirement.
He said it was a life cycle, which most workers were destined to go through and that effective preparation towards retirement should be a key task for any worker to avoid set-backs on retirement and suggested such preparations be started at least 10 years before retirement.
Mr Adama gave the advice at a forum organized by the Tamale Polytechnic Guidance and Counseling Department on Tuesday for the teaching and non-teaching staff.
The forum was meant educate and prepare the minds of workers on the need to plan adequately towards their retirement.
Mr Adama explained that life after retirement could only be enjoyable for people who were able to plan well and had an income generating activities to make up for the reduced income.
“In retirement income becomes less while responsibilities increase. For instance with the minimal resources, one needs to pay for rent if living in a rented house, health, funeral levies, utilities and other bills, which calls for the need for extra income to fall on”, he said.
He said there were four stages after retirement namely; transitional, active, slow development and assisted stages and that each stage should be taken into consideration during planning because it had presented different challenges.
Mr Roger Wontumi, Northern Regional Manager of SSNIT Informal Sector on the New Three-Tier Pension Scheme, stressed the benefits, the tax implications and exemptions on the new scheme as enshrined in the National Pensions Act.
He said the new pension scheme was a mechanism meant to boost workers’ pension benefits at retirement saying, “It would cater for the establishment of a contributory three-tier pension scheme that would comprise two mandatory schemes and a voluntary scheme”.
Mr Wontumi further explained that the first tier was composed of a mandatory basic national security pension scheme, which would incorporate an improved system of SSNIT benefits and would be mandatory for all employees in the private and public sectors.
He said the second tier involved an occupational pension scheme, which would also be mandatory for all employees but would be privately managed and designed to give contributors higher lump sum benefits than was available formally under the SSNIT pension scheme.
He, however, added that the third tier was a voluntary provident fund and a personal pension scheme, where interested workers could on their own volition contribute towards their pension.
“The third tier is supported by tax benefit incentives, which would provide additional funds for workers (formal and informal) who want to make voluntary contributions to enhance their pension benefits” he said.
Mr Benjamin Asamoah, Head of Guidance and Counseling Department of the Tamale Polytechnic said most workers perceived retirement issues as monsters because they did not have the required information.