This research project is on Investigation into the Perceived fear of Retirement Affecting Teachers’ Productivity in Selected Secondary Schools in Ughelli South Local Government Area, Delta State. The research use fifteen respondents from ten selected secondary schools each, making a total of one hundred and fifty respondents for the study project. Data collection was through questionnaire and was administered to the respondents. The questionnaire items on the perceived fears of teachers were: perceived fear of financial insecurity after retirement affects teacher’s productivity in secondary schools, perceived fears of lack of comfortable lifestyle after retirement affects teacher’s productivity in secondary schools, perceived fears of delay in payment of pension and other gratuity of teachers after retirement affects teacher’s productivity in secondary schools and perceived fears of inability to secure another job after retirement affects teacher’s productivity in secondary schools. The result of the findings revealed that increased anxiety and depression, thinking too much as the time for retirement draws closer were the perceived fears that affected their productivity. It suggested that provision of good office and a healthy working environment with adequate instructional materials are effective measures for improving teacher’s productivity.
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1.1 Background to the Study
Retirement is gradually becoming a topic of research focus in today’s contemporary Nigerian society. It is an important phase of life or event bringing with it many challenges in terms of adjustment and changes in lifestyle, self esteem, friendship and vocation. Otedo (2010) described retirement as “leaving the job at a specified period of time after putting in some number of years (35years) or after attaining a given age of 60-65 years in Nigeria’s public sector of the economy.
Work is a fundamental value of all societies, and it elects one’s social and physical environment. As such it represents physical and mental activities through which a person maintains social contact and interaction with the environment, thus facilitating a productive expression of his innermost aspirations and drives (Kamla, 2008).
According to Geston (2005) life is meaningful if attached to work, aside which makes one enter into a state of devaluation. Work is very significant as it affects attitudes and behavior, and provides a basis for improving standards of living of the individual worker. For a worker, work provides a sure means of achieving independence, leadership, self direction and gives a sense of belonging and identity. It is as a result of the significance of work in person’s life that some workers become so committed and involved in their work.
Work keeps them busy and they derive maximum satisfaction from it by devoting long hours into working. It is assumed that anything that will remove a committed worker off the job without accomplishment of needs may be resisted and the worker will possess negative feelings towards such a situation. Retirement, therefore, seems to be one of those conditions bringing about disengagement of workers from their jobs. Retirement according to Amadi (2005), involves leaving one’s regular routine or habitual career, position, business or active life as such it could become a threat to many workers who may not know what to do with their time and lives after retiring from active service.
To those workers so attached to their work, it is often assumed that it may pose a great challenge to them (Blunt, 2003). This is manifest in terms of stress relating to changes in personal habits and changes in opportunities for social interaction and changes in routine. For workers who take work as a central life interest they are said to suffer most when the time to retire comes. Given that attachment and commitment to work and close personal identification with one’s job can be said to be traumatic in the face of retirement, it is only logical that people plan for it.
To most workers, the mere thought of retirement is dreadful, frightening and depressing because it may connote misery, loss of status and prestige, poverty, drastic income reduction, boredom, loneliness, inactivity or even premature death. With this attitude, workers when approaching retiring age and are not prepared for it may not do their job as effectively as they could.
Retirement should be a period in the life of a worker to rest from the onerous task of previous years. It should be a period to sit back and enjoy the fruit of past labour. To ensure this, the guidance counselor is called upon to educate adults on precautionary measures to be taken to make it a joy and not a misery. Anything that has a beginning must surely have an end and retirement is no exception (Adeleke, 2003).
However, the fear of retirement may be an important factor militating against efficiency, integrity, loyalty, commitment and dedication. The fear of retirement usually leads to psychological insecurity and unwillingness on the part of the worker to plan for the future. To some dedicated and committed workers, retirement may come as a rude shock that may shatter their hopes in the future thereby leading to poor work performance (Ayo, 2003). In this study the following perceived fear of retirement affecting teacher’s productivity shall be considered. They are financial insecurity; lack of comfortable lifestyle; delay in payment of pension and other gratuities; and inability to secure another job after retirement.
On financial insecurity; at an older age more expense are bound to be incurred, coupled with the fact that the extra allowances or income received by a working teacher may not be available at retirement to the teacher. All this coupled together may become a worrisome issue that may contribute to the unproductivity of teachers (Bam, 2010).
Also, the perceived fear of delay in payment of pension and other gratuities can also affect teacher’s productivity. This can also affect teachers productivity and discourage teachers from putting in their best on the teaching job. Imagine an elderly man being stressed by the government bureaucratic process. If the problem in delay of payment do not come from a common passport photograph, then it may be from an error in name. And all these delays affects people who have hanged all their hopes on their pension. Unfortunately for some, they even die due to lack of fund for good health care services. The news or knowledge of all of these may have effect on the productivity of teachers (Mundi, 2006).
Furthermore, lack of comfortable lifestyle can also be seen as another perceived fear that may affect the productivity of teachers. At retirement, income is bound to be limited. And the monthly salary will not be enough to spend talk less of living a comfortable lifestyle. Everything has to be done under manageable condition. This will never in any way guarantee a comfortable lifestyle. It is this foreseen fear that moves some into other businesses which may lead to distractions from their primary duty that may also contribute to teachers unproductivity (Cavan, 2004).
In addition, inability to secure another job after retirement is another perceived fear. As an old employee with previous knowledge of employers’ attitude towards retirees, seeking for new employment may even dampen his hope which may in turn affect his productivity (Attah, 2003). This study therefore, seeks to investigate the perceived fear of retirement that affects productivity of teachers in selected secondary schools in Ughelli South Local Government Area, Delta State.
1.2 Statement of the problem
As the public service is expanding, many workers are equally leaving the service voluntarily, compulsorily or mandatorily. Retirement is a threat to many workers who may not know what to do with their lives after retiring from active service. Most people fear retirement and because of these fears, they loss interest in their job as the time of retirement draws closer. They fear that their pension would be delayed; they worry on how they would cope with their financial obligations during retirement. The teacher having retirement in mind when not prepared for it loses interest in his job. They are less committed and dedicated to their duty as a result of these fears of retirement leading to downward turn in their productivity.
Teachers are expected to put in their best in molding the lives of their society without any disturbances, distractions or fears of retirement.
It is therefore a problem which needs investigation and hence this study tries to investigate the perceived fears of retirement that affect the productivity of teachers in selected secondary schools in Ughelli South Local Government Area, Delta State.
1.3 Purpose of the study
The study sought to investigate the perceived fears of retirement that affect the productivity of teachers in selected secondary schools. Specifically, the study sought to determine the extent to which:
- perceived fear of financial insecurity after retirement affect teacher’s productivity in secondary schools.
- perceived fear of lack of comfortable lifestyle after retirement affect teacher’s productivity in secondary schools.
- perceived fear of delay in payment of pension and other gratuity of teachers after retirement, affect teachers’ productivity in secondary schools.
- perceived fears of inability to secure another job after retirement affect teachers’ productivity in secondary schools.
1.4 Research questions
The following are the research questions for the study.
- To what extent does the perceived fear of financial insecurity after retirement affect teacher’s productivity in secondary schools?
- To what extent does the perceived fear of lack of comfortable lifestyle after retirement affect teacher’s productivity in secondary schools?
- To what extent does the perceived fear of delay in payment of pension and other gratuity of teachers after retirement affect teachers’ productivity in secondary schools.
- To what extent does the fear of inability to secure another job after retirement affect teacher’s productivity in secondary schools?
1.5 Significance of the study
The findings of this study will be beneficial to the would-be retirees, employers, government and counselors.
To the would-be retirees, this study will help them to make proper preparation for their retirement. It will also help teachers to make adequate preparation in terms of savings, building their personal homes, investing in stocks and other profit oriented ventures to keep them comfortable after retirement.
For the employers, the findings shall enlighten them on what it takes for workers to plan well for their retirement.
Government, especially the ministry of education will find this study and especially its recommendations very relevant as it will help employers of secondary school teachers to formulate policies and create good environment that will help the secondary school teachers to plan well and retire comfortably without recourse to the fear of the unknown. Counselors would benefit from the findings as they will use the recommendation to counsel those who have fear and anxiety due to retirement.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This work is limited to the study of perceived fear of retirement affecting teacher’s productivity in secondary schools in Ughelli South Local Government Area, Delta State.
It is limited to the contributing variables in the teaching profession like the teachers, retirement, productivity, secondary schools and fears of retirement.
1.7 Definition of terms
The following terms were defined based on their use in this study:
Retirement: The period at which one stops active participation in a paid employment voluntarily or involuntarily.
Retirement benefit: This refers to profit, advantage, good effect, money provided by government as a right especially in sickness or unemployment, an event, especially a theatrical performance to raise money for some person for special purpose. Money or reward paid to a worker as a right by the government or the employer.
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