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ASSESSMENT OF RETIREMENT PREPAREDNESS AMONG CIVIL SERVANTS IN STATE HEALTH BOARD ENUGU

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 CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study

In Nigeria and other countries of the world, there is a distinctive national policy on employment, Nigeria national policy on employment stipulates both entry period and withdrawal period which is referred to as retirement. Retirement is often described as leaving the job at a specified period of time often after putting in some number of years (35 years) on the job or after attaining a given age of 60-65 years or in the case of voluntary retirement at least 10 years of continuous service. It entails leaving one’s regular routine or habitual career, position, business or active life (Amadu, 2010).

 

Retirement can also be described as the final stage of an individual’s working experience when he/she quits from his/her occupation either voluntarily or compulsorily. There is age for retirement in both public and private sector to avoid declining productivity (Akpochafo,2011). Retirement from the world of work is a developmental task that can be viewed in varieties of ways.  In very recent times, it has become a contemporary issue for discussion, debate, and writing in the news media both nationally and internationally.

 

Akinade (2010) opined that retirement is the termination of a pattern of life and a transition to a new one. It always involves radical changes in interest, association, work and social aspect. It is the final withdrawal from active and regimented mode of occupation as a result of old age, poor health, social pressure or weariness after a protracted period on a particular job. It is a significant change to an individual’s lifestyle and as any change comes with element of emotion (Marceaus, 2012). The perception people have of retirement is a function of their understanding of what it connotes. Retirement is not only an employment job related concept but comes with several psychosocial connotations. From a vocational point of view, it is an indicator of the concluding stage of the occupational cycle at which certain material; vocational and experiential achievements are expected of the retiree (Oniye, 2011). It is important to note from the onset that among the various categories of workers in our labour force in Nigeria, the workers approaching retirement and retired should be our great concern (Alutu, 2009).

 

Retirement as posited by Oniye (2011) is a complex process demanding serious planning.This he noted is possibly because of the fact that the experience each has in the course is to a large extent individualistic.Retirees especially those who fail to prepare adequately for retirement are bound to face certain problems in retirement for a number of reasons.Some of these reasons and accompanying problems include lack of understanding, financial problems, and health constraints (Aigbekaen, 2009).Every worker must have a date of withdrawal from work and it is a fact of human experience that is certain. Retirement is so serious that from the day an individual engages himself/herself in any private or public service, one thing that should remain in one’s mind is possible retirement which must come in a day (Adisa, 2012).

 

The moment retirement is knocking at the door, it enters with challenges and expectations; some people consider their period of retirement with enthusiasm, while others mourn the day they will retire and even hate to discuss it due to failure to face the reality of retirement. (Adisa, 2012).Due to global, political and economic changes, it has become necessary for many organizations to undertake specific measures that would enable them to operate economically and profitably.The pre-retirees need to be assisted to make a smooth transition from an employed to self-employed status and enabling them to fit into the societies they retire into.This requires the management of trauma, removing of fears and other mental blocks that hinder the transition (Eyitayo, 2012). As retirement draws near, fear is sensitized into some potential retirees. In Nigerian situation, one of such change is the tendency for irregular earning as the pension and other entitlements may not be immediately forthcoming.Even when the entitlements are paid, a regular income can be said to be assured but certain changes have been introduced into the sphere of life and activities of the retirees from activity to inactivity, from social interaction with co-workers to a solitary and lonely life (probably relocated to the village where he was not used to and so on). The above position justifies the need for pre-retirement engagement\training\skill acquisition to keep the retirees occupied during post retirement period.

 

In United States of America, there is the Federal Employee Retirement System Information,a blog hoisted by the American government which gives retirement related news such as pre-retirement planning.Similarly, blogs sponsored by the U.S governmental organizations such as the Council for Adult and Experimental Learning exists that cater for the needs of old workers (Eyitayo, Lucy & Obadofin, 2012).  In United Kingdom, there are websites both in form of online magazine like the Retire Early, Standard Life etc. which provide update information on retirement planning.Also the Retirement Education Centre which cater for the needs of retirement eligible workers. Furthermore, in some developed world, such people are kept in the senior citizens homes to enjoy one form of welfare scheme or the other (Eyitayo et al 2012).

 

In Africa, the Kenya Institute of Management (KIM) designed certain programmes which address and mitigate negative physiological, physical, social and economic factors that retirees could experience and provide insight on how best to cope with life after retirement (Ethenge, 2010).In Nigeria however, catering for the needs of retirement eligible workers is relatively a recent phenomenon while the interest on the needs of retirees is perhaps just being considered for attention (Eyitayo, et al 2012).The senior citizen still has to cater for himself and family especially if he has not achieved a strong family base. To be able to do this,his economic and social status determined by his scale of remuneration during service and particularly at point of retirement matters substantially.While retirement anxiety has been found to decline, reduced to 15% in Europe and America as a result of pre-retirement counseling and therapy intervention programmes, available data in Nigeria ( Federal Ministry of Labour 1993) revealed that while over 90% of the nation’s retirees looked miserable,confused and helpless, only about 10% were adjusting favourably to retirement and that the latter group were adjusting well because they were discovered to have adequately planned for their retirement (Aigbekaen, 2010).

 

However,the military retirement system, a government-funded noncontributory, defined benefit system has historically been viewed as a significant incentive in retaining a career military force. The system currently includes monthly compensation for qualified active and reserve retirees, disability benefits for those deemed medically unfit to serve, and a survivor annuity program for the eligible survivors of deceased retirees (Clark, 2012).Also the Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre (NAFRC), is the skill acquisition centre equipped to train military men and women on skill acquisition to enable them cope with challenges in retirement.

 

In some establishments especially in state there are no schemes/ programmes where prospective retirees could be retrained for the transition to a new life. The programme would be a process to re-engage them in new socio-economic activities. The findings from this study will help design programmes to sensitize all prospective retires about the need to understand the complexities involved in retirement and the imperative of preparing adequately for the period.

 

 

Statement of Problem

There is no doubt that to retire is to enter entirely a new phase of life which makes retirees to be anxious of post-retirement life.  Workers see retirement as a quick way to an untimely death as a result of non-existence of programmes that prepare potential retirees for the new transition to another phase of life (Adeoye & Legbara, 2011). Retirement or termination of work signifies a period of major change in the life of public servants. Such changes are usually devastating and traumatic in the life of the retiree, especially when the person concerned did not prepare for this phase of life.

 

Lack of planning towards retirement had brought untold hardship to most workers at retirement. Such hardship includes financial insufficiency, poor feeding and inability to pay life sustaining bills. Others include dysfunctional family matters as well as psychological or behavior disorders like depression, identity crises, alcoholism, loneliness, ageing, the combined effect of these situations and other problems usually lead to serious disorientation, stress and a feeling of deprivation and boredom which unless checked could sometimes degenerate into physical and mental problems,e.g. hypertension, diabetes mellitus etc.  Apart from the psychological stress occasioned by diminished status of the retirees, the attendant deplorable financial condition attached to retirement affects the retiree’s ability to adjust to the reality of life after retirement.

 

Majority of the employees are unwilling to make the lifestyle changes they would need to make in order to save enough to afford a comfortable retirement, commencing savings for retirement immediately after recruitment is very essential in order to meet with these challenges and most workers are ignorant of that.Many public servants do not realize that planning for retirement \ development of pre-retirement skill should commence right from the first day of assuming duty.Consequently by the time they realize that there is need to start planning for such eventuality,they are just out of gainful employment.There is need for the government to cater for the welfare of its workforce both during their working life and after retirement, it is in realization of this that the government must engage in programmes of orientation (pre-retirement development skills) of civil servants preparing them for their post retirement period.

 

In state government establishments, the implementation of pension fund scheme has remained haphazard. Since it was enacted into law in Enugu state, some workers are yet to enroll into the system, the reasons for this poor implementation need to be known. The issues of how employees perceive retirement, their attitude towards same and how they plan in that direction has not been given enough attention by researchers in Nigeria hence the need to assess retirement preparedness among civil servants in Enugu State.

 

Purpose of the Study

The study is to assess retirement preparedness among civil servants in State Health Board, Enugu.

 

Objective of the Study

The specific objectives are to:

  1. Determine the personal savings situation of the civil servant in preparation for retirement.
  2. Identify the reasons for implementation of retirement savings scheme by workers.
  3. Ascertain the skill acquisition programme embarked upon by prospective retirees/business venture in preparation for retirement.
  4. Determine association between respondent’s demographics and retirement preparedness.

Research Questions

  1. What is the personal savings situation of civil servants in preparation for retirement?
  2. What are the reasons for implementation of retirement savings scheme by civil servants?
  3. What skills has the civil servant acquired in preparation for retirement OR any business venture to embark on after retirement?
  4. To what extent do demographic variables influence retirement preparedness?

 

Hypotheses

  1. There is no significant relationship between years of service and retirement preparedness
  2. There is no significant relationship between age and retirement preparedness.
  3. There is no significant relationship between sex and retirement preparedness.

 

Significance of the Study

The findings from this study will be useful to both the government and other professionals for planning and making policy as government needs reliable data to plan effectively for the citizens of the state. The findings will also be useful to academicians and professionals who will use the outcome to test and validate theories and other changes in society. It will also aid psychologists, guidance and counselors on new techniques to use in carrying out their assignment.

 

Furthermore, findings from this work will help the health care personnel provide useful information on the need for adequate preparation and adjustment during retirement and the need for harnessing of resources that are available within their environment for optimal utilization for healthy living.

Scope of the Study

The study is delimited to civil servants in State Health Board (SHB), Enugu retiring between 2016-2020. It also address issues like their personal savings for retirement, their personal reasons for implementation of retirement saving scheme, the skill acquisition/ business venture in preparation for retirement and the association between respondent’sdemographics and retirement preparedness. The target population comprise of prospective retirees in the 8 departments of SHB, Enugu at time of study.

 

Operational Definition of Terms

Retirement preparedness:Is the worker’s readiness, eagerness, and willingness to quit or withdraw from active service after a stipulated period of working experience.

Personal savings:Is the amount of money the civil servant has saved in preparation for retirement.

Skill Acquisition:Is the ability to be trained on a particular task or function and the person become an expert in it.

Business venture: Is any capital or income generating service to be engaged by prospective retiree after retirement.

Civil Servant: Is a permanent staff of State Health Board, Enugu employed by Enugu State Government who is due for retirement from 2016-2020.

 

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