Devan Moonsamy 

Scores of people have been let go from companies as they battle to recover following more blows by the pandemic. Companies have also been forced to close their doors as they battle to keep up with the ongoing changes with Covid-19. 

The work life as we know it has evolved with people working remotely, to some having fewer work days and for others having to take the retirement option. But the question is are people ready to retire? 

Unfortunately, the reality of surviving in a pandemic has not just seen the strain on the health of people but their financial well being as well. Statistic SA published information showing that at least 8% of working South Africans have lost their jobs in the pandemic.

They also show that around 25% of employees experienced a reduction in income during the lockdown and there was a 10% increase in employees reporting no income during lockdown. 

The numbers are an indication that it will take time for us to recover from the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic however while we are on the road to recovery how ready are for the possibility of an early retirement? 

If retirement is on the cards, it is essential that due homework be done before considering the option. Retirement means having careful considerations into what happens next. For many the idea of retirement means sitting back and taking a breather after a long time of working. However, given the current economic challenges this might seem difficult. 

When someone takes their retirement package the idea that it is time to be my own boss might seem like an appealing possibility but the reality is that given the tough economic times this means careful consideration into business propositions. 

Now that many have taken the packages and we are left with staff members not yet eligible to retire perhaps we could implement strategies to prepare staff for the retirement journey. As business owners it is essential to get your staff knowledgeable on financial wellness. Start by doing the following: 

  • If you current do not offer any financial wellness benefits perhaps it is time to look into one. It does not have to be an expensive investment like a dignified financial professional in the office but perhaps the aid of a service provider that will assist with the questions related to managing finances better. The aim is to get your staff to see that you understand their issues and hear their concerns and you will take strides to address them. 
  • Having a retirement savings plan for staff is not enough. The truth is most staff will use the retirement funds not just to retire but to perhaps pay expenses. This is not the end game. Ultimately it is the individual’s choice how they spend their money however it is good to have knowledge on money management. This can be done by hosting financial planning workshops or training in the office to allow employees to ask those tough questions around retirement. 
  • Ensure you choose a good financial wellness company. There are many who offer great packages and ooze with employee wellness but they lack the personal touch and knowledge. Sometimes the after service can be a nightmare leaving HR to struggle with employee queries. To avoid this, make sure you choose a provider that is reputable and has a great after care service. 

Retirement is always something that needs discussing in the workplace. It doesn’t have to take a pandemic for us to relook at how we are assisting our staff with benefits. Educate your staff on financial wellness and the need for these programmes. 

Devan Moonsamy is the CEO of ICHAF Training Institute, a South African TVET College. He is the author of Racism, Classism, Sexism, And The Other ISMs That Divide Us, AND My Leadership Legacy Journal available from the ICHAF Training Institute. 

The ICHAF Training Institute offers SETA-approved training in business skills, computer use, and soft skills. Devan specialises in conflict and diversity management, and regularly conducts seminars on these issues for corporates. To book a seminar with Devan or for other training courses, please use the contact details below.

Tel: 011 262 2461 | 083 303 9159 |

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