The need for sports personalities to be part of the Tier 3 National Pension Scheme to reduce the trauma they go through in their old age took centre stage during an interview granted by the Manager of Corporate Affairs of the National Pensions Regulatory Authority, Nana Sifa Twum, in Accra .
He said many sports personalities, including footballers, boxers and athletes in the informal sector, became paupers in their old age because they lacked the vision of investing in various pension schemes in their active days.
“Sports personalities can start contributing minimal sums per month and reap maximum figures at the end of their working lives.
"There are 30 pension service providers called “Corporate Trustees” across the country that they can contribute to, and before they realise it, they would be receiving all-time regular income after retirement or when incapacitated. This is because the future is unknown,” he advised during the interview with Graphic Sports Online.
Nana Twum added, “Obviously there is going to be a time when one cannot work again. The time when parents rely solely on their children for survival during old age is giving way to a period that is characterised by a sole survival system. This is a situation where parents have to fend for themselves, hence the need for them to invest in the Tier 3 pension scheme to earn a meaningful living in their old age.”
According to Nana Twum, since it was difficult to be actively involved in income-generating activities at an old age, it was important for sports personalities, especially those in the informal sector, to contribute up to 16.5 per cent (35% of declared income) of their basic salary to the scheme.
He said the Tier 3 pension scheme, privately managed by a Corporate Trustee, was the way to go “since the best strategy to avoid the stress, poverty, loneliness, protracted illness, boredom and sadness in old age around the globe and Ghana in particular is adequate preparation”.
“If there are no preparations towards old age and retirement for that matter, old age becomes a nuisance rather than the blessing God wants it to be. That is why it is said that ‘if you fail to prepare; you prepare to fail’,” Nana Twum stressed.
Giving statistics to buttress his point, Nana Twum indicated that “only one per cent out of the 85 per cent within the informal sector is currently on one form of pension scheme in Ghana. So this new scheme is a good step which needs to be encouraged and continued”.
“When you get old, you will not be able to work as before, and chances are that you will be compelled to retire from active work even if you are self-employed, so preparation towards comfort and enjoyable old age and retirement has been the process of pensions. Effective and secured pensions are key solutions to retirement challenges,” he advised.