AN ASSESSMENT OF POST RETIREMENT PROBLEMS AND COUNSELLING NEEDS OF RETIREES
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At retirement, major changes occur in these aspects of individual daily lives.
Retirement has been associated with obvious changes in lifestyles, daily routine, income, social status, age, strength, environment and most times, health.
This study investigated post retirement problems and counselling needs of retirees in Osun state.
The study was a survey research.
The population of this study comprised all retirees in Osun State while 210 respondents were used as sample size in the study.
A questionnaire titled “Post-Retirement Problems and Counselling Needs Questionnaire (PPCNQ)”was used as an instrument to collect data needed for the study.
The variables taken into consideration were gender, age and highest educational attainment. Mean and rank order analysis were used to answer the main research questions while the null hypotheses formulated were tested using t-test and ANOVA statistical techniques at 0.05 level of significant.
The findings of the study revealed that post retirement problems includes delay of pension payment; lack of access to regular income; and inadequate monthly allowance.
The findings also revealed that counselling needs of retirees are taking right nutrient; enlightenment on how to deal with loneliness; and problem of how to start private business.
It was also found that there no significant difference existed in the post retirement problems associated with retirees in Osun state based on gender, age and highest educational attainment.
Also, there was no significant difference was found in the counselling needs of retirees in Osun state based on gender, age and highest educational attainment.
Based on the findings of this study, it is recommended that government and other employers of labors should make regular payment of pension priority in order to avoid delay in payment.
Counsellors should encourage the workers to plan adequately for life after paid employment.
Counsellors should also orientate the retirees on the strategies and coping mechanisms which can be used to address retirement challenges they are bound to face after paid employment.
Background to the study
Life comes in stages and each stage of life throws up its own challenges and opportunities and among this stage of life is the retirement phase which comes after one has actively engaged his time in work as an employee over a period of time.
It is an important phase of life or life event, bringing with it many challenges in terms of adjustments and changes in lifestyle, self-esteem, friendships, and vocation.
There is the tendency to face new personal and lifestyle issues, as well as major financial realities.
Retirement is seen by workers as a transition that could lead to physiological and economic problems (Ogunbameru & Bamiwuye, 2004).
Work is a fundamental value of all societies (Petters & Asuquo, 2008). In every culture, people engage a good part of their lives in socially acceptable activities that may be considered as work. The vocational stage of human life starts with fantasy as a child and ends with retirement at old age (Oniye, 2001).
Retirement may be looked at as the terminus of one’s active, primary, earning life.
It may involve leaving a paid job one has been engaged in for ten to thirty five years or even a little more among certain categories of workers.
All workers whether employed by the government or private establishment or they are self-employed have to retire (Akinade, 2006).
The concept of retirement means different things to different people.
While some persons view it positively and await it with happiness, others have negative perceptions about retirement as they associate that stage of life with boredom, economic suffering, ill health and death. And consequently, such individuals experience a sense of loneliness and loss of status.
Retirement is a necessary end which every worker must anticipate, whether in the public sector or in the private sector (Onoyas, 2013).
Denga (2010) asserted that retirement is the longest vacation and it is a pleasurable experience while Akinboye (2004) stated that retirement is a process in which an individual disengages from routine work performance and this could be voluntary, mandatory or compulsory. Work is a basic need for human existence.
Work is the means by which an individual can accomplish self improvement either materially, intellectually or physically. Retirement simply refers to a situation where an individual is formally or officially stopped from active work role and it is often perceived as the realization of a life goal. It represents one of the happiest time of one’s life. It is a mark of honour and appreciation from one’s employer.
Hence, workers are often rewarded with gratuity and other retirement benefits (Akinboye, 2004).
According to MacBean (2007), retirement should normally be a period of rest from the stress and exertion from work, when one spends most of his time with family, with old school mates and of course in bed.
Again, having spent 30 to 40 years working for salary, one would normally be expected to have laid the foundation for financial stability, with pension income acting as back-up (Asamoah, 2012).
Continuity theory forecasts retirement will be stressful for many people as a result of the discontinuity in a central and important role and suggests that there will be an overall decline in well-being after retirement (Forster & Morris, 2012).
Furthermore, this theoretical model suggests that, if people are to make a successful transition to retirement, they should maintain the same activities and relationships post-retirement as they did pre-retirement in order to preserve existing internal and external structures.
Older people are thought to adopt strategies to maintain this continuity and stay connected to their past experiences (Atchley, 2001).
Economic difficulty might be a principal factor for maladjustment among retirees. In the reality of Nigerian situation, inflation has eroded the value of the currency of Nigeria, that is, it could be safely stated that the amount being paid as pension is inadequate and it is not usually paid on time (Olatunde & Awosusi, 2011).
The same can be said of retirees in Ghana.
There have been numerous complaints from retirees about the inadequate amounts paid as monthly salaries to retirees.
Oniye (2012) noted that retirement from work often create a lot of problems for retirees.
These problems range from sudden loss of income, financial insufficiency and anxiety, deteriorating health conditions, anxiety about suitable post-retirement accommodation to problem of learning new survival skills for post-retirement life.
The implication of this is that the individual who is bound to retire someday must decide for his/herself, the type of life he/she wishes to live.
It is imperative also that the individual must consider those resources he/she would need in order to satisfy his/her dependents.
This is crucial if it is appreciated that the factors that may influence success or failure in retirement are endless.
For instance, Oniye (2001) identified some areas of challenges.
They are as follows: lack of understanding, financial problems, social stigma and health constraints. Other studies also established that retirement has an initial negative impact on lives of pensioners by increasing anxiety but this gets resolved after the initial transition (Ogunbameru, 2000; Amaike, 2009; Moody, 2010, Novak, 2012).
Thus, disengagement from work role does not only affect income, but the health status of workers and their access to material resources which subsequently affects their life satisfaction.
Nevertheless, the link between retirement and poor health was explored in a number of studies which equated retirement with a marked deterioration in mental well-being of retirees which was largely due to loss of work role and status (Novak; 2012; Moen, Kim, & Hofmeister, 2001).
In the same vein, Kolawole and Mallum (2004) pointed out that the typical retiree in Nigeria setting is confronted with the challenge of managing the following: (i) insufficient financial resources; (ii) problem of securing residential accommodation; (iii) the challenge of a new and low social status; (iv) difficult health and (v) challenges of declining health.
Also, Okechukwu and Ugwu (2011) concluded that in Nigeria, the delay in payment of pension and gratuities often lead to hardship and death in some circumstances, making retirement dreaded venture.
Based on the foregoing, it could be inferred that early retirement life is fraught with several problems which could be highly influenced by individual differences that may exist from person to person.
Indeed, it has been reported in some studies gender, highest educational attainment and religiosity are demographic factors in early retirement life that significantly affects adjustment to role transition and life satisfaction of both men and women (Moody, 2010; Novak, 2012) with more retirees reporting low-morale or low life satisfaction because of deficiency in educational attainment, health status, occupation and income which precede retirement.
Pre-retirement and post-retirement counselling help an employee prepare for an alternative vocation as well as a leisure activity.
Pre and post retirement counselling helps an employee to choose an alternative vocation to enable him/her be healthy through physical or mental exercise to remove boredom.
In fact, changes from routine work require adequate leisure time for good health and the new emotional environment (Abu bakar, 2010). Many retired civil servants in Nigeria are experiencing negative and difficult changes that come as a result of cessation of active work life (Adedokun, 2010; Akpanmkpuk, 2011; Fapohunda, 2013; Olatunde & Onyinye, 2013).
Due to the pervasiveness of retirees’ exposure to risks and poverty in the post-retirement years, retirement researchers in Nigeria have carried out several studies in this regard. Several overlapping challenges have been discovered. Garba and Mammon (2014) identify counselling needs of retirees in the country as including among others, planning ahead of retirement, loneliness and health.
Adequate planning from service inception and pre-retirement counselling sessions have been identified as important actions to be taken prior to retirement (Ali, 2014; Garba & Mamman, 2014).
Scholars have argued that employees who plan for retirement from the beginning of their service years are more likely to live happy and fulfilled lives in their post-retirement years compared to those who lack adequate planning for the inevitable (Adewuyi, 2008; Akpanmkpuk, 2011).
The specific planning emphasized by these scholars are the financial and material aspects of existences.
In a study on the need for post retirement counselling for workers in Delta State, Nigeria, Ogbebor (2011) identified financial concerns, worries over health status in the post-retirement years, concerns on how to meet up with family responsibilities, the likelihood of severance from age-long friends, and boredom (in order of priority) as areas that bother an average employee as retirement approaches.
According to Wilson and Aggrey (2012), provision and accessing necessary information on insurance policies, management of personal income during, retirement, explanation of the retirement process, general information about social security, Medicare coverage and acquisition of life skills needed for optional adjustment to retirement roles are the mean counselling needs of retirees.
Adeloye (1999) identified emotional needs such as feelings of guilt, anger, denial, fatigue, or a blurred future, and coping with his/her new experience as a major counselling needs among retirees.
In a related study by Adejumo (2010), on the general health of retirees in Lagos, factors found to have influenced the dimension of health status of retirees include the need for improved self efficacy, social support and stability of personality among retirees.
The need to learn new survival skills towards meeting the needs of livelihood as also been identified as counselling needs of retirees (Kolawole & Mallum, 2004).
Statement of the Problem
Work is an integral part of human existence. It is an avenue through which most people get their means of livelihood.
Work serves other purposes such as being an agent of socialisation; it builds interpersonal relationships, promotes acculturation, and provides opportunity for people to acquire defined social status.
At retirement, major changes occur in these aspects of individual daily lives.
Retirement has been associated with obvious changes in lifestyles, daily routine, income, social status, age, strength, environment and most times, health. These changes, though vary in gradation, are applicable to employees globally (Adedokun, 2010).
Making transition from being an employee to a retiree may be easier said than experienced.
Studies have also shown that most retirees in Nigerian ever sought for financial advice towards retirement while in service, with resultant negative consequences in their post retirement years (Asonibare & Oniye, 2008; Ogbebor, 2011).
Furthermore, several Nigerian employees, especially junior and middle ranked employees of the federal and state governments lack adequate understanding of the new pension scheme as enacted by the Pension Reform Act of 2014 (Anazodo, Ezenwile, Chidolue & Umetiti, 2014).
Worse still is the irregularity and non-payment of gratuity and pension as and when due in the Nigerian civil-service. This represents a critical negative factor in retirees’ everyday living (Olatunde & Onyinye, 2013).
Many retirees are, therefore, left at the mercy of their children and relatives, while some live as destitute (Adedokun, 2010).
Many researchers have carried out studies on retirement problems and needs or adjustment of retirees, For instance, Oguzor, Adebola and Opara (2013) examined the effect of stress on retirees.
The study also identified the cause of stress and strategies for reducing stress on retirees.
The finding of the study also revealed that non-payment of gratuity and pension can cause stress for retirees.
Nweke (2015) investigated the pre-retirement anxieties among civil servants in Ebonyi State, Nigeria on the Non- Contributory Pension Scheme.
The findings revealed that civil servants perceived delay in the payment of pensions (69.1%) and lack of transparency (50.5%) as common features in the administration of non-contributory pension scheme.
Salami (2010) investigated the relationship of retirement context and psychological factors with well-being.
Findings showed that retirement status, job challenges, financial situation, physical health, activity level, and social support separately predicted psychological well-being.
Olatunde and Awosusi (2011) examined the socio-economic implications of retirement on retired public servants in Ekiti State, Nigeria.
The findings of the study showed that retirees in the study area had socio-economic problems resulting from poor pay, delay in payment of gratuity and pension, and hyper inflation on their meager income.
Eman, Hanaa, Bothina, Asad-Abdel (2016) investigated the effect of counselling sessions on managing psychological problems among pre-retirement employees.
The results revealed post-intervention statistically significant improvement, in score of depression, anxiety symptoms, Attitude and Perceptions towards gains and losses from retirement among participants.
Abubakar (2013) worked on retirement challenges and management strategies among retired civil servants in Kogi state. It was found that majority of retirees in Kogi State encounter retirement challenges.
Prominent among which are irregular payment of pension and accommodation problem. Adjustment of life style to a moderate one was found to be one of the coping strategies of retirees.
To the best of the researcher’s knowledge, none of the previous studies were conducted on the post retirement and counselling needs of retirees in Osun state.
In view of this, the present study is intend to fill the gap created by other researchers. Therefore, this study, investigates the post retirement problems and counselling needs of retirees in Osun state.
The under listed research questions were raised to guide the conduct of this study:
1. What are the post retirement problems associated with retirees in Osun state?
2. What are the counselling needs of retirees in Osun state?
3. Is there any difference in the post retirement problems associated with retirees in Osun state based on gender?
4. Is there any difference in the counseling needs of retirees in Osun state based on gender?
5. Is there any difference in the post retirement problems associated with retirees in Osun state based on age?
6. Is there any difference in the counseling needs of retirees in Osun state based on age?
7 Is there any difference in the post retirement problems associated with retirees in Osun state based on highest educational attainment?
8. Is there any difference in the counseling needs of retirees in Osun state based on highest educational attainment?
Based on the research questions the following hypotheses have been drawn:
1 There is no significant difference in the post retirement problems associated with retirees in Osun state based on gender.
4. There is no significant difference in the counseling needs of retirees in Osun state based on gender.
5. There is no significant difference in the post retirement problems associated with retirees in Osun state based on age.
6. There is no significant difference in the counseling needs of retirees in Osun state based on age.
7 There is no significant difference in the post retirement problems associated with retirees in Osun state based on highest educational attainment.
8. There is no significant difference in the counseling needs of retirees in Osun state based on highest educational attainment.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to find out the post retirement problems and counselling needs of retirees in Osun state.
The study will also examine whether the variable such as gender, age and highest educational attainment would have influence on the respondents response.
Significance of the Study
This study will be a significant endeavor in promoting good work in the evaluation of retirement experiences of pensioners.
The outcome of this study could be beneficial to organizations, as well as government in decision making, as far as pensions administration and issues relating to pensions are concerned counselors and future researchers.
By understanding the plight and pleasure of pensioners, both pension administration institutions and government will be guided into taking decision and formulating policies in the best interest of retirees. The study will look beyond the mere payment of monthly pension payments to retirees, and look at other possible areas of concern, which can contribute to making the lives of retirees better.
Furthermore, this study will be helpful to the insurance industry, in the provision of better and more defined lives for pensioners and can be used by these insurance companies to gain competitive advantage over their rivals.
The findings of this study would be of immense benefit to counsellors in developing techniques for retirees on how to plan and cope with post retirement challenges.
It will also serve as a future reference for researchers on the research related 50 pre-retirement and post retirement experiences or challenges.