In line with Malawi’s Pension Act, NICO says it will continue to complement government’s efforts in helping the public have sufficient funds when it's time to retire.
NICO Pension General Manager Gerald Chima explained that the company is impressed with people’s interest in the matter hence organising retirement planning seminars for its customers.
“We’d want Malawi to start planning, what we have noted is that most people live it to chance or in some cases, they rely on the number of children they have to take care of them when they reach retirement age.
“We felt we needed to start talking about these things so that we can start to plan so that each one of us when we reach retirement, we’d have adequate financial resources to take us through and we believe that if we achieve that, we should actually see a much wealthier nation,” he said
Some of the patrons who attended the Lilongwe seminar, expressed discontent with the 40 percent that is given to them upon retirement arguing it is insignificant for one to do meaningful investment considering that by that time many cannot do much due to old age.
In response, NICO Life Chief Executive Officer Eric Chapola clarified that they are just pension administrators and they just follow the stipulated laws.
“We have no powers to release more funds as we just follow the Pensions Act”
He advised the public to lobby Parliamentarians to advocate for changes to the Act.
A consultant Jimmy Lipunga, stressed on the need to prepare the body, mind and soul noting that as one grows older, the body becomes weaker and on average the risk of getting sick increases.
He pointed out that money by itself is not a panacea and urged people to have an orientation towards spiritual matters and connect with God.
The former Chief Executive officer for the Privatization Commission now Public Private partnerships (PPP) Commission confessed he would not have effectively handled retirement if he was not a believer.
“Retirement is actually a misunderstood word, technically in the West for example when people talk of retirement, they mean you have accumulated wealth and you basically stop working and you live on your savings.
“But again West is generalisation, I know other people even in the West have a different view and I subscribe to that view that you retire from a job but you cannot stop working; you have to keep working until your body is no longer able to work.
“Notwithstanding, you might have savings but working is not just there as a means to getting livelihood, work defines us because when we work that’s when you exercise leadership, that’s when you exercise patience, that’s when you exercise mercy, love all these important human attributes come forth when you are at work, so work should never stop” he advised.
He noted that retiring from a job is a matter of policy like in the public service retirement it’s at 60 while institutions in the private sector retire at 55.
Lipunga however stated this does not necessarily mean one should stop working, rather one should do so as long as the body can manage.
NICO provides different products and financial services such as employer’s pension management and for individuals to invest in.
It also offers Life insurance so that when one reaches retirement, they get the maturity value to use in retirement and NICO Asset Manager to support them in preparation for retirement.