Members of the real estate community are being advised that having a conversation about financial wellness should also include pension planning because of its importance when it comes to retirement or unforeseen circumstances.

At present just under 20 per cent of the labour force is a part of an approved pension scheme which means that about 200,000 persons out of a labour force of about 1.1 million persons are eligible for pension benefits.

Othneil Blagrove, Senior Manager – Sales, JN Life Insurance Company

Othneil Blagrove, Senior Manager – Sales, JN Life Insurance Company says what this means is that there are still some 900,000 Jamaicans who will have no protection when they retire, or if there is a situation where they are unable to work again.  

“Therefore, the number of Jamaicans being eligible for a pension upon retirement is low, especially when you consider that the Planning Institute of Jamaica has indicated that the country’s population is aging. If more persons aren’t educated about the importance of a pension, then the country will have an even bigger burden in terms of having a social safety net in a few years,” added Mr Blagrove.

The senior manager revealed that investment experts posit that individuals need 40 years or more of savings to maintain the lifestyle they currently enjoy in retirement.

“It means that if you are above a certain age, no matter how you save now, you will never be able to live the same lifestyle you lead now in retirement because you have lost some of the years needed to do that investment,” he revealed. 

He explained that as Jamaicans live longer, investment experts estimate that individuals need enough money to live up to 15 years or more after retirement.

“Investing in a pension will also take the burden off the state in providing you with assistance,” he explained. “It will also help to grow the economy since it is money that is invested in mutual funds, stocks and other projects geared towards improving the quality of lives of thousands of Jamaicans.”