Old Mutual prepares MTL staff for retirement

Members of staff from Old Mutual Limited on 9th May 2017 held a training for elderly staff at Malawi Telecommunications Limited (MTL) aimed at mentally and emotionally preparing them to plan for their impending retirement.

MTL’s Benefits and Welfare Officer Maxwell Phingo explains that the company’s Human Resources Office collaborated with Old Mutual on holding the training because of internal research that indicated there was a knowledge gap that needed to be filled.

“We saw it necessary to hold the training after noting trends on how retirees in the company have been doing in the past years. The idea is to help the welfare of staff so that life is easier after retirement. These trainings have taken place at MTL Head office, Zomba, Lilongwe and Mzuzu,” he said.

The training was aimed at those in the 55 years and above age bracket who are expected to retire in the next 5 years or less. Among other things, Old Mutual’s Training Coordinator Grey Tewete addressed the breakdown in modern times of traditional support systems for retirees and emphasized on utilizing additional savings schemes to the individuals pension fund.

“There is a breakdown of the traditional support structure as the cost of living is making it difficult for children to support their parents as it happened before. Gone are the days when one can sit at home after retirement and ask for money from his or her children. Life now requires that we make savings to boost the pension income,” he said.

Margaret Msosa, a participant in the training observed that the training had been an eye-opener and most especially helpful for those on MTL’s staff who had been with the company over several years.

“Personally I have been helped. Some MTL staff have been at a disadvantage because we have already received part of our pension twice, when there have been restructuring and retrenchments, and so we will get little as pension. Nonetheless we are grateful because we are now in a better position to see how to prepare in the little time left.”

Participants were also given a projection of their retirement package which showed that most of them shall be eligible for 40 % commutation and 60% annuity. From the annuity retirees will be able to receive an incremental monthly salary for a guaranteed period of 10 years thereafter subject to a retiree’s proof of existence.

Another participant, Simon Jeremiah echoed Msosa’s appraisal of the training observing that the training would help turn things round for employees in this regard.

“The training was very nice and very helpful. It will help us know where we are weak so that we can now work on those areas,” he said.

Studies done by Old Mutual indicate that life becomes harder for some employees after retirement as the pension income is not always sufficient to support the retired employee’s lifestyle. The trainings are therefore a means of helping the employee plan well and consequently increase life expectancy, protect spouse and dependants, increase cost of health available to the employee and protect the employee’s post-retirement lifestyle.