Women all over the world and in Ghana, are blessed to be the most populous gender on this planet and equally blessed with longer life, strength, determination and resilience even in the face of adversity. These attributes make women enduring. While endurance is good, enduring poverty is sad and painful.
Research shows that all over the world, women live longer than men and old age poverty is prevalent among women due to factors such as low pay, career breaks and the predominance of women in the informal sector.
Research further reveals that low financial Knowledge has substantial effect on women since they face unique financial challenges. Also, it is found that women are largely risk averse, and not likely to plan to invest for a secured future hence unprepared for retirement.
In Ghana, pension coverage is generally very low because of the informal nature of our economy. Out of a working population of about 12million, only 12.3% contribute to pensions according to a research study conducted in 2019. This means over 80% of our population do not have retirement savings.
Further, due to the peculiar challenges facing women, men in work were more than twice likely to be covered by a pension scheme than their female counterparts.
According to the survey, in 2013, while 17.1 per cent of men in work were covered by pension, only 7.8 per cent of females were covered.
These stark realities require a new way of thinking and approaching the matters of old age poverty among women. While Government has a social safety program called LEAP for the aged poor, it is worthy of mention that grants and gifts will not bring the ultimate solution.
Women in their productive years must be taught how to build long term savings towards retirement and not for short term exigencies such as rent payment, funeral, school fees, plough back capital into business etc. Women who are financially capable can adopt less privileged sisters and ensure their retirement income security by making retirement savings on their behalf.
As a retirement advisor, my solution has been to intensely educate and to develop relevant products which will provide the needed solution to this challenge. To this end, the PenTrust She Retires was born out of research. It is an exclusive retirement product for women only, designed with the flexibility required for women to make regular contributions towards their retirement at a convenient consistency, Daily, Weekly, Monthly.
Our goal is to see women retire decently and in comfort.
To support this cause, Civil Society Organizations with focus on Gender and the media will be key agents in amplifying our voices in our education drive in order to change the sad narrative of women retiring poor.
As we celebrate International Women’s Day today, I call on the Women Caucus in Parliament, Women in Civil Society Organizations, Women in various Social, Professional and Religious groups to join hands with us and fight female old age poverty by starting with yourselves. Sign up for the PenTrust She Retires retirement plan for yourself and if you can, for another important, less capable woman in your life, make regular contributions towards your retirement and that of your selected woman and let’s begin the journey to building your retirement plan and end old age poverty.
To sign up, please click on the link below.
To make Daily, weekly or monthly payments of GHC20, GHC50 or GHC100 cedis and above, please dial *776100#* on all networks and enter the ID 567 for payment.
For further information on this product, pls call +233 50 153 6679 or 0501149080
Let’s Choose to Challenge old age poverty one woman at a time.
General Manager, PenTrust