By Mohammed Awal
Ecobank Ghana, in partnership with Old Mutual, a major financial insurance firm, yesterday unveiled the ECOBANK Retirement Savings Plan, aimed at increasing insurance penetration in the country, which is presently below two percent.
The plan, otherwise called EcoRetire, according to the acting Managing Director, Mr. Morgan Fianko Asiedu, would provide Ecobank ‘s retail clients the opportunity to save for their retirement, through the payment of an agreed monthly premium, with a definite target lump sum at the end of contributions.
Speaking at a ceremony in Accra to officially launch the retirement plan, Mr. Asiedu described the plan as a realisation of “our vision to provide our customers” with reliable banking and financial products.
As a bank, he explained, they had observed the gradual financial deterioration of some customers upon retirement, and that it was heartbreaking for the bank.
Thus, the introduction of the EcoRetire plan was to, as much as possible, mitigate such occurrences.
“We have, therefore, taken the bold step, together with our partner, Old Mutual, not to remain a passive observer to the decline in the financial fortunes of our customers, but rather, provide them with this ground-breaking product to enable customers build up a nest egg for their retirement,” he said.
Beatrix-Lynn Tamakloe, Ecobank’s Head of Bancassurance, explained that the EcoRetire plan would not compete with the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) pension scheme, but augment the lump sum payable under the Tier 2, which was mandatory, and Tier 3 which wasn’t.
There was the need, therefore, to “supplement our pension, because national pension schemes often offer you a baseline existence,” added Mr. Asiedu.
The EcoRetire plan, according to Mrs. Tamakloe, would be an addition to the suite of bancassurance products that are currently available at all Ecobank branches.
“Applicants will have to be Ecobank customers, or desire to become Ecobank customers, and should be above 18 years, and not more than fifty-five,” she explained, adding that monthly premiums for the product varies per person, and the minimum is GH¢20.
Chris Kapanga, Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Old Mutual Ghana, said the launch of the retirement plan further cements the collaboration existing between the two institutions, declaring that it would continue to create innovative products and services tailored to the specific needs of clients of both firms.