JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Jamaicans are being encouraged to effectively plan for retirement to ensure that they can adequately take care of their financial needs after they have stopped working.
  • The advice came from Director General in the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Dr. Sharon Crooks, at a retirement exposition today (Sept. 19), at the Half-Way-Tree Road offices of the Land Administration and Management Programme (LAMP).
  • Statistics indicate that persons 60 years and older represented eight per cent of the world’s population in 1950, with the figure increasing to 10 per cent in 2000, and projections are that older persons will account for 21 per cent of the world population by 2050.

Jamaicans are being encouraged to effectively plan for retirement to ensure that they can adequately take care of their financial needs after they have stopped working.

The advice came from Director General in the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Dr. Sharon Crooks, at a retirement exposition today (Sept. 19), at the Half-Way-Tree Road offices of the Land Administration and Management Programme (LAMP).

She said that deliberate planning is crucial in securing one’s future at the end of the active working life.

“It is estimated that persons will need approximately 70 per cent of their pre-retirement income while those with lower earnings will require 90 per cent of their pre-retirement income to maintain their standard of living when they stop working,” Dr. Crooks pointed out.

She said that retirement planning is also paramount, in light of the fact that persons are living longer as a result of advances in health care and improved standard of living.

Statistics indicate that persons 60 years and older represented eight per cent of the world’s population in 1950, with the figure increasing to 10 per cent in 2000, and projections are that older persons will account for 21 per cent of the world population by 2050.

In Jamaica, the elderly makes up 11. 2 per cent of the existing population, from five percent in 1950, and is projected to reach 25 per cent by 2050.

Citing the popular phase ‘goodbye tension, hello pension’, Dr. Crooks said that while many people see retirement as freedom from the stresses of the workplace, unless proper preparations have been made, persons may find that “the tension you experience on your retirement is proportionate to your pension by far”.

She also advised persons to develop other interests such as learning a skill or hobby as part of efforts to keep themselves occupied during their retirement.

“For everyone, retirement is likely to be unchartered territory accompanied by mixed feelings and thoughts. For men and women, who have defined themselves by their careers, leaving that identity behind can be difficult and so many psychologists recommend that retiring gradually before you actually retire, is a good option,” she noted.

For his part, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Alwin Hales encouraged Jamaicans not to use up pension savings when they change jobs.

The inaugural retirement exposition was organised by the Human Resource Department of the Ministry and featured presentations from representatives of a number of financial and other institutions.

It sought to provide persons with the relevant information to allow them to set and achieve realistic retirement goals, and allay the fears and apprehension usually associated with this major life adjustment.

Some of the institutions present were First Global Bank, Jamaica Stock Exchange, Bank of Nova Scotia, Jamaica Money Market Brokers (JMMB), Heart Trust NTA, First Heritage Cooperative Credit Union, and Sagicor, and the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA).