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What is the retirement age in Ghana, and how do you measure whether you’re on track for retirement?
1 Retirement age in Ghana
The current retirement age is 60 in accordance with the National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766), as amended by the National Pensions (Amendment) Act, 2014 (Act 883).
2 Retirement Savings Accounts
Well, you can do some math and figure out how much you’ll need for each year, for say, the next 30 years. And maybe that’s how much you need to have saved. But this amount is so high, it’s more than just about anybody but the very wealthy can have.
And that’s not the whole story. According to Fidelity, the rule of thumb is that by the age of 50, you should have at least about 6 times your salary saved for retirement to be safe to retire at age 67. This means that if you earn GHc700 a month, ($50,000 a year) you should aim to have at least GHc50,000 ($300,000) set in savings by the time you turn 50 years.
To appreciate the level of unpreparedness of the vast majority of people for retirement, Fidelity’s study at the end of 2020 shows that the average person between the ages 50 and 59 in the US had only about $200,000 in the 401k.
3 The 401K Account
A 401k is a US employer-sponsored retirement account. It allows an employee to dedicate a percentage of their pre-tax salary to a retirement account. These funds are invested in a range of vehicles like stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and cash
4 SSNIT Pensions Scheme
The SSNIT Pension Scheme is a 3 –Tier scheme covering all workers in both the private and public sectors in Ghana. It is optional for the self-employed.
The First Tier is the Basic National Social Security Scheme for all workers in Ghana. It is a defined benefit scheme and mandatory for workers to have 13.5% contributions made on their behalf. The contribution is managed by SSNIT.
The Second Tier is a defined contributory Occupational Pension Scheme mandatory for workers with 5% contribution made on behalf of members. The contribution is managed privately by approved Trustees.
The Third Tier which includes all Provident Funds and all other Pension Funds outside Tiers I and II is a voluntary scheme.
The objective of the scheme
- To provide pension benefits to ensure retirement income security for workers
- To ensure that every worker receives retirement and related benefits as and when due
- To establish a uniform set of rules, regulations, and standards for the administration and payment of retirement and related benefits for workers in the public and the private sector.
5.5% of workers’ basic salary is paid by the worker. The Employer makes 13% of the worker’s base salary as a contribution on behalf of the worker. This makes a total contribution of 18.5% of workers’ basic salary
Fund Allocation and Investment
Out of the 18.5% contribution, the employer remits 13.5% to SSNIT within 14 days following the end of the month to the mandatory First-Tier Basic Social Security Scheme.
Again out of the 13.5% paid to SSNIT, 2.5% is sent to the NHIA for the member’s health insurance.
The residual 5% is sent to the mandatory Second Tier Occupational Scheme which will be privately managed by Trustees approved and licensed by the Board of NPRA.
5 Age and Savings Guidelines
According to Fidelity, by age 30, you should have the equivalent of your year’s salary saved. This should be 3 times your annual earnings by age 40. Then by the time you’re 60 years, you should have an equivalent of 8 times your salary saved.
You must be mindful of the nature of your local economy to know the best form such investments should take. For instance, in many African countries like Ghana, your savings would probably be better off in real estate than merely saving the cash in the bank.
How do you handle your retirement saving, and what lessons have you learned from your approach to retirement preparation. Share with us in the comment section below.