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Ogunmwonyi’s Retirement Best Practices That Work


Retirement-kk-CopyRETIREMENT and You (Sterling Books Nigeria Limited, Lagos; 2015) is a compendium of retirement best practices written by Izevbizua Ogunmwonyi, a presidential consultant on civil service reforms. The book is a primer on the benefits of retirement after employment. Retirement and You is a well-researched book on retirement realities, the need to prepare ahead for eventual retirement and its benefits. The author states that retirement is a good station in life to look forward to, as it signals the start of a new life. It is a period to implement retirement dreams while on paid employment. The book teaches how an employee can prepare for retirement.

Retirement and You: A Compendium of Retirement Best Practices takes the reader through practical steps retirees can engage themselves in order to have a fulfilled life in retirement. This book is a must read for retirees and people preparing for retirement. The author acknowledges the good role of the Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre, Oshodi, Lagos, in securing adequate preparation for happy retirement for members of the Nigerian army, navy, airforce and the security services.

Retirement is part of life, an inevitable event that must happen to every man working. This book details several years of research, teaching and live experiences garnered by the author and others like those who wrote the foreword and the introduction. For easy reading, this volume is segmented into four sections. The first section comprises the Foreword, the Introduction and the first two chapters.

As a human resources expert, Ogunmwonyi admonishes that retirement being a sure phenomenon to befall every worker, should be prepared for from the first day of employment. This is so because several changes occur in the life of a worker. Such change includes technology, government policies, unfathomable business conditions and change in ownership of businesses. This book deals with every aspect of retirement as well as issues around healthcare and the mental well-being of the retiree. This volume provides a window for the retiree to enjoy life even after retirement.

The life experiences gleaned from case studies highlighted in the book will aid readers in making necessary adjustments that will position them for retirement when it inevitably comes. The catch, from the author’s viewpoint, therefore, is to be prepared when the time comes so one is not catch unprepared.

There are tips in business or the civil services that workers have ample choices to make concerning where they wish to go – either into business, manufacturing or consultancy. Here is where the author’s experience is very useful. As a training provider to the Federal Government’s Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Ogunmwonyi has handled pre-retirement workshops to retiring civil servants; this is where he largely got the inspiration to write Retirement and You.

Thus, the book is based on the author’s practical experience, thorough research and case studies of retirees. It takes a critical appraisal of the Pensions Reform Act of 2004, stressing its relevance with regards to retirement. The Act orders contributions towards retirement by both the employee and the employer. Such contributions are to be made to the coffers of the employee. This replaces the unfunded system in the public service before now. The new pension law harmonized the public and private sector by transferring the responsibility of pension payments to professional pension fund administrators.

The positive achievements of the Pension Act are that the retiree stands the chance of not being owed pension payments when they fall due. Whereas, non-payment of pension benefits has been the bane of all the tiers of government in Nigeria since independence. However, it will be a welcome relief to Nigerians if the Act is obeyed such that pension benefits are paid whenever they are due.

The second section comprising chapters three, four and five deals with the challenges in retirement concerning the family, hangers-on, the retirement tripod of personal, social and lifestyles. The consequences of retirement under Sharia law are also highlighted. Chapter Four links the demographic consequences of retirement with life expectancy, the state of the national economy and future expectations in life expectancy. Also, chapter Five highlights the development of the mindset for financial security and the need for government’s provision of social security.

What is more, Ogunmwonyi takes the liberty of projecting into the future what retirement policies will look like, and takes into consideration that people live longer now because of advances in nutrition and medical treatment. Moreover, what will happen when a country is saddled with a large population of fit and active retirees owing to breakthroughs in technology, medicine and diet? The book avers that people and government should be proactive enough to seek improvements in social administration. The book offers useful recipes on what should be done.

The third section – chapters six, seven and eight – gives the rationale for small scale businesses as solution to insolvency during retirement. Other matters discussed are the overview of viable business options, and the necessity of creating networks in retirement.

Among businesses analysed are the hospitality industry, bakery, laundry service, hair-dressing, ice-block making and rentals. Other businesses suitable for retired persons outlined are academic pursuits leading to offers of jobs in community service, building health and recreational services, consultancy and dealership in the beverage supply chain.

The fourth section shows how to manage health challenges during retirement. The author emphasizes the care for the organs in order to avoid heavier outlay arising from ill-health and hospitalization. Keeping the company of good friends is also offered as panacea for loneliness, isolation and premature old age and death. Here, Ogunmwonyi also offers the usefulness of books and reading to update knowledge and entertainment. This is shown in the book’s three-page bibliography. The author also showcases useful articles and magazines to regale the retiree and prepare him for a worthwhile legacy. ‘Tit Bits on Writing a Will,’ he argues, offers succor for appropriate preparation for transition into eternity.

The author Ogunmwonyi is a graduate of Sociology of the University London with a Diploma in Personnel Administration from Salford University both in the United Kingdom. He served more than 25 years in commerce and industry and was a consultant to the Bureau of Public Service Reform in the Executive Office of the President, Abuja. Ogunmwonyi served for decades on the board of Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria. Recently, he was awarded the Distinguished Fellow of the Institute in recognition of his contributions to the profession of Personnel Management in Nigeria. He currently manages at consultancy firm, Karisma Consultancy Associates Limited.

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