RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN RETIREMENT AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND PSYCHOLOGICAL STATUS OF FORMER PUBLIC SERVANTS IN VIHIGA COUNTY, KENYA

ABSTRACT
Pension is paid to former workers residing in Vihiga County to help them transit safely into retirement. In spite of this, a number of these retirees still find difficulties to pay for their medical care, pay school fees for their children or even sustain their families. The influence of these difficulties has had far reaching negative social ramification in Vihiga County. As a result of similar problems facing retirees in other parts of the world, different measures have been introduced to mitigate the situation. For instance, a number of countries have had to adjusted upwards retirement age, while others have removed mandatory retirement age and still others have introduced new forms of pension. The government of Kenya similarly, has had to shift from provision of counseling services to workers before they proceeded for retirement, to adjustment upwards of the retirement age and finally has legislated for introduction new form of pension. Despite the shift from one step to another, the suffering of retirees has not abated. This study therefore, intended to determine the relationship between retirement and socio-economic and psychological status of the retirees. The study was guided jointly by three theories namely, social disengagement theory, activity theory and continuity theory. A descriptive ex-post facto causal comparative survey research design was used to conduct the research study in Vihiga County. The accessible population for the study was 1038, comprising 958 former public servants and 80 local administration officers. Proportionate stratified random sampling technique was used to select a total sample of 233 participants that comprised 198 retirees and 35 local administration officers. A questionnaire and focused group discussion schedule were used to collect data from 198 selected retirees while an interview schedule was used to collect data from 35 selected local administration officers. Mathematical techniques comprising of percentiles, pie chart, bar-graphs and inferential statistics comprising of chi square and t test with the help of SPSS version 17 were used to analyze the data. The findings of the study showed that there was a relationship between retirement and socioeconomic and psychological status of retirees. However the results did not show any difference in the relationship between retirement and socioeconomic and psychological status of retirees based on gender. These results further showed that despite lack of formal guidance and counseling services specifically tailored for workers proceeding for retirement nor for retirees in retirement, there was a relationship between the informal guidance and counseling services received and socioeconomic and psychological status of retirees.

Thus the study recommended that; first, retirement program be improved so as to safeguard retirees against socioeconomic hardships. Secondly, retirement program be improved to safeguard retirees against psychological hardships. Finally, there is need to establish formal guidance and counselling services to address the challenges of workers proceeding for retirement and retirees.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Background Information
Upon retirement, some former workers in Vihiga County start to face challenges in acquisition of medical services due to termination of their medical cover. As such, to acquire these services, retirees use their saved wealth to supplement pension in payment of the skyrocketing medical expenses. In addition, a number of retirees are observed to have difficulties in paying school fees for their dependants or sustaining their families in the same manner as when they were working (Musau, 1998). Ultimately, due to the high rate of consumption of pension and saved wealth, some retirees in Vihigaare observed to face a new found inability to take care of their health bills when they fall sick or their immediate sick families requiring healthcare or generally their family commitments. Apart from these challenges that are occasioned by diminishing financial muscle, decreased proximity to the nearest medical or social facilities seems to further complicate the matter. This is because governments are shying away from providing free medical services due to large expenses involved (Randel, German & Ewing, 1999). As a result upon retirement, the costs of medical care of former workers increase (Hoffmaister et al, 2007). But the increase in the cost of medical care in retirement ends up consuming the saved wealth of former workers in Vihiga at a faster rate upon retirement (Musau, 1998) than before. Consequently, Siringi (2007) observed that some former workers seclude themselves from social participation. In the end, Moody and Harry (2006) noted, some retirees aging process is observed to accelerated uniquely with a number of them succumbing to death (Omondi, 2008). The death of retirees though is equivalent to a loss of a resource with abundant knowledge and skills in various vocations (RoK, 2005), it has posed a social threat to social continuity of communities in Vihiga County.

On the contrary, retirement should not in effect cause socio-economic or psychological challenges. This is because the economic security of former workers is safeguarded by a steady monthly income of varying amounts commonly known as pension. Even then, to benefit from such schemes, a retiree is expected not to be formally employed (Nobbs, 1981). This is because, public servants in Kenya, benefit from pension from a non contributory scheme that is paid from the treasury. But even then there are major concerns such as; the type of pension earned by these retirees is a first tier whose intention, for historical reasons, is only to provide for poverty relief (Barr, 2002). Due to this nature of pension paid to former public servants in Vihiga County, they are unable to neither smoothen their consumption nor even engage into business. At the same time concerns for example by KACC was raised over huge budgetary allocation towards pension expenditure and the challenge it was causing (RoK, 2008). This is because, pension expenditure for the financial year 2002/2003 was 0.93% of gross domestic product (GDP) compared to 1.1 % in the financial year 2003/2004. This growth of pension expenditure was projected to grow to 1.4%, in the financial year 2004/2005 (Kenya, 2005). But due to adjustment of retirement age from 55 years to 60 years, pension expenditure has remained stable at 2.6% of GDP for the financial years between 2009 and 2013 (Institute of Economic Affairs, 2012, RoK, 2012). As such the government is unable to increase pension amounts to former workers despite their concerns. It is for this reason that the government has made a legislation to change the type of pension given to workers from free to contributory so that a retirees’ get defined pension.

Pension is a modern idea of taking care of retirees in Africa. This is because traditional arrangements are key in enhancing the security of former workers in retirement (Randel, German & Ewing, 1999). As such, the retirees are received by their communities and assisted to settle easily in retirement. In addition, African communities had also some traditional arrangements that would assist retirees when faced with life challenges such as sickness, bereavement, or even financial. But currently these traditional arrangements are facing serious challenges. This is due to the dynamic socio-economic and technological development being experienced today in Kenya (Sindabi, 1992). These challenges are further complicated by fact that some of the retirees relocate from their ancestral homes and settle in new areas. Thus as a result, former workers find no traditional support to lean on upon retirement.

But even then, African traditional methods are unable to assist retirees especially when it involves emotional disturbances. For instance African methods may find it difficult to determine amount of a grieving occasioned by retirement upon consideration of the amount of time one has used in acquisition of further knowledge and experience through professional training (Davies & Shackleton, 1975). Similarly African methods find it difficult to deal with retirees’ wide range of feelings as a result of decreased wealth or loss of financial power once enjoyed. But such feelings during retrenchment period were countered by guidance and counseling services (Masau, 1998). On the contrary, as a result of lack of or insufficient guidance and counseling services offered, some former workers do seclude themselves from social participation (Siringi, 2007). The ramification of these negative social experiences has posed a social threat (RoK, 2005).

The issue of retirees did not pose challenge only to individual retirees but also to employers and governments. This is because the population of retirees and hence aged persons is one of the fastest growing population. The trend of its growth as Times Almanac (2005) report shows, in the year 1950, this special population was about 200 million persons while in the year 2000, it was about 550 million persons. Thus a projection of 1.2 billion retirees by the year 2025 was expected. A similar report by Omondi (2008) indicated that, the number of retirees in Kenya is increasing steadily and is expected to grow from about 171,000 retirees in 2008 to about 220,000 retirees by 2011. These figures show that there is a sharp increase in population of retirees in kenya. But this trend was in 2009 temporarily interrupted due to an increase in the retirement age in public service from 55 years to 60 years. Due to the growth rate and the size of the population, their plight is seriously taken all over the world.

Thus, western countries such as USA, Canada, UK and France have either adjusted upwards the statutory retirement age or did away with the statutory retirement age. In addition, other forms of pension schemes which allow retirees to increase their financial options are being introduced (Barr, 2002). The government of Kenya has similarly encouraged several measures one after the other. For instance, in 2009, the government adjusted upwards the statutory retirement age from 55 years to 60 years. On the social front, the government of Kenya is offering financial assistance to some retirees with funds obtained from donor community and WCPS (RoK, 2008). Even with these measures, Republic of Kenya (2005) report indicates that retirees have continued to suffer.

Statement of the Problem
Upon retirement, retirees in Vihiga County start to face difficulties in paying for their proper medical care, pay school fees for their children or even sustain their families. Retirees saved wealth and pension is consumed at a high rate in the process of acquiring these services and in due course they are subjected to poverty, a situation they were not used to. At the same time, they find themselves in societies with traditional arrangements that are drastically being altered. They are therefore not accommodated with their challenges. In the end their ageing rate is uniquely accelerated occasioning a number of them to succumb to early death upon retirement. As a result of the social, economic and psychological problems faced by retirees, the government reacted by putting in place measures to secure the situation. Apart from the steady monthly pension that is paid to retirees, the government has adjusted upwards retirement age, legislated new form of pension, and is offering funds to retirees. But despite these measures being introduced, retirees have continued to suffer in retirement. The study therefore intended to determine the relationship between retirement and the socio-economic and psychological status of public servant retirees in Vihiga County.

Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of retirement on socio- economic and psychological status of former public servants who retired in the last ten years and were residing in Vihiga County.

Objective of the Study
The following objectives guided the study:-
a) To determine the relationship between retirement and socio-economic status of former public servants residing in Vihiga County.

b) To determine the difference in relationship between retirement and socio- economic status based on gender among former public servants residing in Vihiga County.

c) To determine the relationship between retirement and psychological status of former public servants residing in Vihiga County.

d) To determine the difference in the relationship between retirement on psychological status based on gender among former public servants residing in Vihiga County.

e) To determine relationship between guidance and counseling services and socio- economic status and psychological status of former public servants residing in Vihiga County.

Hypotheses of the Study
The following hypotheses were tested in the study:-

Ho1: There is no statistically significant relationship between retirement and socio- economic status of former public servants in Vihiga County.

Ho2: There is no statistically significant difference in the relationship between retirement and socio-economic status based on gender among former public servant residing in Vihiga County.

Ho3: There is no statistically significant relationship between retirement and psychological status of former public servants residing in Vihiga County.

Ho4: There is no statistically significant difference in the relationship between retirement and psychological status based on gender among public servants residing in Vihiga County.

Ho5: There is no statistically significant relationship between guidance and counseling services and socio-economic status and psychological status of former public servants residing in Vihiga County.

Significance of the Study
Retirees in Vihiga County receive pension to secure them in retirement. But the manner in which they suffer socially, economically and psychologically and hence ultimately succumb to death despite several government efforts to secure the situation is worrying. This study was therefore conducted to determine if there exists a relationship between retirement and socioeconomic and psychological status of retirees. As such the findings of the study are intended to assist stakeholders have an understanding perception of the situation of retirees. Thus, stake holders may use the information to pressurize improvement of public service retirement program. The findings may also awareness to ‘would be retirees’ of the challenges they are likely to experience and hence generally be prepared. Finally the findings of the study may contribute to the body of knowledge in the area of study.

Scope of the Study
The scope of this study was to determine the relationship between retirement and the levels of retirees capacity to pay for their bills, level of retirees’ participation and relationships in community and level of enjoyment of life (herein referred to as lifestyle) as indicators of socio-economic status of retirees. The study also determined relationship between retirement and the level of stress and anxiety, levels of withdrawal tendencies and levels of community attitudes as indicators of psychological status of former public servants in Vihiga County. In addition, the study determined the difference in the relationship between retirement with socio-economic and psychological status based on gender. Finally, the study determined the relationship between guidance and counseling and the socio-economic and psychological status of retirees.

Limitations of the Study
i. The study was conducted in Vihiga County within Kenya. The ideal situation for the study would have been, to draw a national sample of all retirees that would reflect retirees’ differences so that the findings could be generalized to the whole national population.

ii. Former workers retiring on the same level of job scale did not have same socio- economic or psychological status at the point of retirement. This difference also cut vertically along the levels of income. However, it would have been better to conduct the study on different categories of public servant retirees on the basis of last salary earned or by profession. However, categorizing workers like this would limit the size of samples to be studied per category. As such, items were introduced in the instruments of the study to capture the same data.

Assumptions of the Study
The following assumptions were made in the study:-

i. All retirees were not offering their services in salaried jobs and hence earned no salary but depended solely on pension, family remittances or personal saved wealth.

For more Guidance & Counseling Projects Click here
===================================================================
Item Type: Kenyan Material  |  Attribute: 74 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: KSh900  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
===================================================================

Share:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Search for your topic here

See full list of Project Topics under your Department Here!

Featured Post

HOW TO WRITE A RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

A hypothesis is a description of a pattern in nature or an explanation about some real-world phenomenon that can be tested through observ...

Popular Posts