Are we grasshoppers or ants?
A retirement fund member’s perspective on preservation
In a broader context, preservation can be termed as the protection or safeguarding of any asset or natural resource to prevent it from destruction or decay. In the context of a retirement fund, preservation means the act of safeguarding one’s benefit in a retirement fund over a long period so as to ensure adequate income after retirement.
In the South African context, the history of preservation is very poor. This is further compounded by the roughly 25% unemployment rate and an informal sector that does not fall within the ambit of any savings pool. Furthermore, within the formal sector there is a general tendency to cash in one’s savings whenever the opportunity arises, either through a job change or when experiencing personal financial difficulties. This increases the burden on the state due to more people becoming dependent on social grants. There is thus a great need and responsibility not only on the state but on every individual to try to preserve and increase the saving culture of the nation as a whole.