THE PREDICAMENTS OF PENSIONERS: THE WAY FORWARD
World Teachers’ Day!
What could be more heroic than living one’s life to serve this beautiful nation relentlessly? Our senior citizens sacrificed their all in service for the good of our dear nation. After spending 35 years in service, retirees deserve to spend the rest of their lives in luxury. These people served the government all their lives, they parted with their energy for humanity, and they are undoubtedly the builder of our nation. They’ve earned their place in book of records; after all there is no better deed than service to fatherland. They deserve nothing short of appreciation, care and good welfare.
The sight of weary figures queuing during verification is heartbreaking. Retirees are subjected to disdain. They are treated like they are never part of us. A month ago, 2 pensioners slumped in Benue during protest for their unpaid stipends. What could be more salubrious than this? These people are not beggars, they’ve worked all through their lives to deserve luxury but they wallow in agony. Late Sunday Oboite slumped to death aged 75 in Benin during screening on his birth right. Is this what our grandparents, parent and heroes deserve?
It is gory seeing aged pensioners who could hardly walk, nor stand without support queue in banking hall for their meager stipend. Most of these people don’t visit the bank because they received payment alert, they do, out of optimism. Quite a number of them are hungry and in bad health condition, these people need help. Most times they ended up displaying emotions when it dawn on them that the suffering continues. No sane human would see these people in their pure state displaying emotions and not part with some quid to save the blushes of the government. I was reduced to tears seeing our heroes cry on national television due to unpaid gratuities spanning up to 10 months.
Retirees during years in service put money away for retirement. They look forward to retirement with optimism. Unfortunately, their funds are not only under-funded but their savings were embezzled. It is no longer news how government officials embezzle the future of our senior citizens…talk about lack of conscience and respect for elders. Some set of people enslave the old ones in suffering while they live outlandishly on the sweat of our heroes.
The Federal government in its magnanimity took steps to regulate this sociopolitical menace through the much improved Pension Reform Act 2014. While this is movement in the right direction by stipulating rules to govern licensed pension funds administrators, it still leaves lot to be desired. The new reform act did not state the commencement date; the change in gaps in coverage is also unfavourable in contrast to the 2004 rule. This reactive law did not make due provision for the aged ones.
Those in service now look at retirement with skepticism. Retirement is no longer what they once looked forward to. They are worried about what the future hold. With the current state of the economy, it is frightening speculating what the future has in stock for our heroes. With what we’ve seen so far, what is the fate of the current generation and those to come?
PANACEA TO THE FRIGHTENING DEMON
I like to dwell on what is in our control. There is little or no control over the external factors that could create the perfect retirement future.
1. MIND YOUR BUSINESS: To those in service, please mind your business dogmatically. While in service, make conscious effort to create your retirement future yourself. Think about your life after service and create your own destiny. Leaving it all to the government could be tantamount to suicide.
2. CHASE YOUR PASSION: The fact that you are in service does not mean you cannot do other things worthwhile with your life. What you love to do can finance your future, so far you do not let one wrestle the other.
3. BUILD PERSONAL BUSINESS: The problem lies in the fact that most people are not business savvy. Many people have defined themselves negatively and allow self limiting believes get the best of them. Start a business, start small regardless. The greatest things today started small. Start a business that gives you extra cash flow to fund your future.
4. INVEST YOUR SAVINGS: The days when saving was king is far behind us. What’s the essence of saving when money keeps losing its purchasing power? Invest wisely for yourself.
5. CREATE PASSIVE INCOME: Passive income is lethal to fulfilled life. Dependence on salary is eating many people up. Little wonder civil servant engaging in activities that fail the repugnancy test when salaries are not paid when due. While you are strong and able, do your future the best you can.
Start your retirement plan early, stay committed, live purposely and be target oriented. Thank you for choosing to serve this great nation. God bless you.
(c) Osofowora Oladipupo Obsequious 2016