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Bridging The Gender Gap In Retirement Planning; A Challenge For All Women

As a pension company focused on helping the informal sector, and women across sectors save for their retirement, International Women’s Day meant a lot more to us than a celebration of the female gender in just one day. We have come to appreciate women for the role they play in our families, societies, and our nation and the sturdy strides made in retirement planning. The female gender is not what it used to be, we are pushing boundaries, shattering glass ceilings, and challenging the status quo in varied areas including retirement planning. 

As we wrap up on our month-long women-centric campaign, we spoke to 2 female members of our scheme to ascertain their motivation for joining the scheme, their views on retirement planning, and how the #choosetochallenge agenda spurred them on to save for #ABetterTomorrow.

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Juanita Opare – HR Practitioner

"I believe Human Resource has evolved from taking a backstage role to more strategic roles at the decision-making table. Nonetheless, one of the roles that haven’t really changed is welfare, which actively involves looking out for the future of employees.  Encouraging your staff to sign on to a personal pension scheme shows that you care about their future needs and that’s a powerful tool for improving retention rates. Retirement planning is needed for both genders but it's mostly needed for women. The roles of women go beyond their active years, which, coupled with the fact that we live longer than men, mean we have to save much more than our male counterparts. Unfortunately, women do not occupy strategic roles as compared to men and thus earn less than men; making having a personal pension much more important for women. We are always supportive of our families; emotionally, financially and in other ways, so it's important we cushion ourselves for retirement as well. Personally, my dream retirement is all about being financially independent and not relying on my children or family members. I’d like the opportunity to travel and see the world and also be debt-free. Unfortunately, I haven’t made so much progress on saving for my retirement as much as I’d have wanted; and for me, covid has highlighted the reason to get back on track. I think it is important for women to own their own retirement and I’m challenging other women to resolve not to be a liability to those around them when they retire. In this day and age, we have a lot of access to information and we need to plan accordingly. Finally, I believe it's never too late or too early to plan or do anything, so I consider this session as a wake-up call for me, and hopefully for other women too". 

 

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Emma Frempong – Events Organiser

"So unlike a corporate worker, I need to have some money saved that would take care of me when I'm not able to work again and my pension may start earlier than 60 because of the kind of business I do. I'm a business kind of person, and that sometimes makes me feel like my business can run for many years without me and should be able to take care of me during retirement. Regardless,  I think it is important to save money for our retirement because women always have needs, and it doesn’t stop even in old age. Though putting money aside when you have present needs is not particularly easy, it's important and this pandemic, where there was a ban on social gatherings reiterated this for me. As women, there will always be something that seems more pressing, which means there will always be an excuse not to save, but we need to be bigger than our excuses and be consistent too. I have really grand plans for the future. I’d like to be in business for a very long time and have enough funds to cater for the needs of my children and grandchildren and not the other way around. I’m determined to make a difference as a woman and I hope other women will take up the challenge and save for the future they want"

Our activities this month have given us a better insight into the pension needs of women across the country and further sharpened our education and sensitization campaigns to address those needs. Though the Gender gap in wage rates persists, which to a very large extent affects women’s ability to save for their retirement, we are glad we started a thought leadership campaign that seeks to close the gap, one woman at a time. 

 

Pension Weekly Newsletter - Edition 11 - March 2021

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