Fri | Sep 22, 2017

Elderly encouraged to retire successfully

Published:Friday | August 12, 2016 | 8:00 AMJason Cross
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Colette Roberts Risden

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security, in collaboration with the National Council for Senior Citizens, hosted a retirement planning seminar on Wednesday, at the Medallion Hall Hotel, Hope Road, St Andrew, to equip the elderly and those approaching senior citizen status with what to do to achieve realistic retirement goals.

Participants were encouraged to employ, as best as they can, strategies to cope with a major life adjustment, such retirement.

The theme was On the Road to Retirement: Activate your Action Plan Now.

Topics presented on included the retirement process, money management and retirement, health insurance, investing for retirement, and home ownership.

Colette Roberts Risden, permanent secretary in the social security ministry, in delivering the main address, said that public education about successful retirement was well needed among Jamaicans.

NO ALTERNATIVE

"Today, this is a stark reality and it becomes more urgent that persons become educated on how to retire successfully. The situation is compounded by the fact that early retirement means that the supply of labour, especially skilled labour, will decrease significantly in the future and this has implications for the country's long-term economic growth and prosperity plan," she said.

She also spoke of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) as being burdened by retired persons who have no alternative other than the NIS pension.

"It is important for me to remind Jamaicans that the NIS was never designed to be the only source of income during retirement. The NIS was designed to be a minimum guarantee and only one-third of the 'pension-pie'. The NIS pension was designed to be augmented by an occupational pension and individual savings and investments.

"If you rely on only one source of income, the replacement rate at retirement will be small, and your former lifestyle negatively impacted. If you fail to make preparations for retirement, then your future will be restricted. I hope that those participating (in the seminar) will find it useful in helping to plan intelligently for the adjustments," she said.