Working for the government or a company comes with many benefits, like pension packages, building connections, travelling for vacation, and having money flowing into your account. However, after many years in service, the retirement year will surely draw near. It is an experience that is best when planned for ahead of time.
In your retirement age, you have less ability to do work as you used to at your young age. Also, employers will be looking to bring new minds into the fold. Except you have a business on the side, it would be pretty difficult to lead a healthy lifestyle free from financial stress, and that is why you need a proper retirement plan. If you weren’t thinking of it, now is an excellent time to think and plan your retirement.
Before now, the traditional pension programs were the only way to save for so long while enjoying tax benefits. However, bitcoin has provided an opportunity too. While both could be worth it, let’s consider the options well before committing to any. This article will show between bitcoin and a traditional Ivory Coast pension scheme which is better to put money in for your retirement.
The Global Economy and Pensions
In the aftermath of the COVID-19 lockdowns and global economic crises, companies have yet to come to terms with how to balance their finances. This has led to an increase in the aging workforce as the challenges increase for companies to handle.
These facts have made pensions hard to come by in most organisations. However, as an employee, your retirement plan is a priority that you must note. One of the options you may have considered is investing a part of your retirement savings into bitcoin. While bitcoin, like other cryptocurrencies, experiences volatility, it is one of the suitable financial asset classes to consider.
Ivory Coast Pension Plan
As one of the notable countries in West Africa with a population of over 26 million people, Ivory Coast has a robust economy and workforce. This also means that retirement plans are key annual discussions among the populace.
Employees in Ivory Coast are typically paid monthly, with over 55% of the population in the labour force and a 3.5% unemployment rate; they have millions of people working. It is therefore important to consider current and emerging options to offer better retirement benefits for the population.
In Ivory Coast, a pension for a retirement plan is funded through a solidarity approach where those working are being taxed a certain sum to the Ivorian social security body commonly known by its French acronym CNPS which funds the National Social Insurance Fund where both bodies manage retirement planning for registered citizens. Employees get to pay 6.3% to the CNPS Retirement Fund and the employer pays 7.7% of the taxable salary to their Retirement Fund (a total of 14%).
Beneficiaries of the retirement plan include the old, the disabled, and survivors of workplace hazards. The benefit varies based on each person’s contribution and the number of years spent in service. However, for the old and retired, it goes as much as 50% of the minimum wage which is legally 60,000 CFA francs.
Why Traditional Pension Schemes Are Going Out Of Fashion
Before the advent of new investment opportunities, pensions were very popular. Today, the case seems to be different. Here are some of the reasons:
Too many Bottlenecks:
One of the major reasons why most people are reluctant to traditional pension plans in the Ivory Coast is the number of processes and paperwork needed to register for social security. The worst part is the stress retirees and family members have to go through to access the money for their loved ones after retirement. This has led to more agitation and recourse to better alternatives.
Zero Asset Appreciation:
One of the significant challenges of saving pensions is that the asset value remains fixed over a long period while inflation rates skyrocket. If you save only a certain amount, that is the worth you will get and possibly even less due to currency devaluation.
Another challenge is that some employers are unwilling to continue offering pension packages to their employees. This used to be a norm in the past, especially when working in one of those big corporations.
Rising debt profiles, decline in demands for services, and inflation risks, explain why some companies are not willing to register their employees at CNPS.
Many Pension Funds are Under Threat
The global economic crisis is taking a toll on some of the leading pension funds in the world. They are either struggling to make payments of the monthly stipends, as agreed, or having little to no funds to sustain a robust pay scheme.
Inflation or persistent increase in the prices of goods and services is another major factor that reduces the relevance of traditional pension plans. A decade ago, what many could have easily afforded is on the high-end today, forcing most employees to spend more on their basic needs with only a little to contribute to their pension funds.
Bitcoin as a Game-Changer in the Retirement Plan Equation In Ivory Coast Pension
The Ivory Coast pension reform and the National Social Protection Strategy are aimed at improving the income level of retired Ivorian civil servants. However, as stated earlier, the system places a pension burden on the Ivorian civil servants and agents, which led to agitations and structural reforms in 2012, including the increase in contributions and the retirement age.
This has brought cryptocurrency technology into the picture and bitcoin as an alternative store of value. While many wonder whether bitcoin is a store of value, it is the first leading digital currency to offer financial inclusiveness and cut down on the delays of intermediary influence while offering considerable long-term financial security.
Today, most employees are now looking to use cryptocurrencies like bitcoin to save up for their retirement. While this is a move from the status quo, many, including Ivory Coast pension funds, do not appear to be in a hurry to explore this option. However, the global Fidelity Investment has taken the bull by its horn to be one of the first pension funds to add bitcoin to its pension plan. By this, the firm is offering employees saving for retirement the opportunity to add up to 20% of their pension balance to bitcoin.
This comes with the condition that the employees would only be allowed to use bitcoin if their employers permit it. Otherwise, only the bitcoin balances added by the employees will be credited.
Benefits of Using bitcoin for Your Retirement Plan
As an employee looking for viable ways to save for your retirement, adding bitcoin could be the solution. Among many other things, you will benefit from the following:
Bitcoin Adds Optimism to the Picture
Millennials’ spending habit is usually a “spending as it comes”, with little or no attention to the future for them financially. However, with bitcoin in the picture, they are now taking notice of the long-term potential.
Although it has only been around for a decade and a few years, bitcoin has made an impressive move and made great returns. From its under $100 value, the coin would rally up to the $62,000 price range, thus, creating speculations that it would hit $100,000 someday.
With the tremendous long-term potential and the circulating supply to the mix, bitcoin is worth adding to your retirement plan. In a decade, you would possibly not just have access to your entire retirement funds but also double or triple the original amount, depending on bitcoin’s price.
The use of bitcoin as a store of retirement savings comes with zero long queues, paperwork, delays with account creation, delays with withdrawals, bank charges, and inflation concerns. Bitcoin is a disruption to the finance industry and would see more adoption with time.
Bitcoin is Free from Institutional Manipulations
At least, that’s what we believe. Influential individuals or financial institutions do not control bitcoin as a peer-based digital currency. It is just there to buy and store in your digital wallet.
Although there may be a few Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) at intervals, the asset has continually weathered the storm.
The World is Going the “Bitcoin Way”
Banks and influential individuals kicked against bitcoin when it was introduced a decade ago. Today, they are either adopting blockchain technology (the underlying technology powering bitcoin) or adding bitcoin to their balance sheets.
This shows that the world is slowly moving from the traditional financial model characterised by paper money to a digital currency ecosystem. Saving bitcoin today might just be worth it as you look forward to a peaceful retirement.
In Ivory Coast, bitcoin will revolutionize work benefits by enabling people who have not registered or are unable to access the CNPS, to save for retirement. You can easily buy bitcoin legally in Ivory Coast with Yellow Card.
Some Risks Associated with Making Bitcoin Investment.
While there may be nothing wrong with adding bitcoin to your pension funds, there are a couple of risks that come with any kind of investment.
These risks, if not adequately analysed and understood, may not serve you best when you’re already close to retirement. Here they are:
- Bitcoin is commonly regarded as a “speculative financial asset”. This is primarily because of the risk of being driven by sentiments. Analysts believe that bitcoin might not have any actual value, as its value is driven by emotions and the fantasy of investing in a digital currency.
- Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are continually under the radar of authorised government agencies. We have had a couple of cases where cryptocurrency exchanges or projects were hacked or dragged to the court over some claims.
- Bitcoin investors may just be investing for its sake because the coin is not backed by anything. Unlike the United States Dollar (USD), bitcoin is neither supported by bonds nor stocks.
An enjoyable retirement plan requires a savings plan that works. Bitcoin is charting a new course in global financial inclusion today for both the unbanked and active users of existing banking systems. These people can use bitcoin to settle cross-border payments, pay for services and trade the asset to make an income on safe platforms like Yellow Card.
Yellow Card is a safe financial powerhouse making financial inclusion and products accessible to Africans.
The long-term outlook appears to be an ideal way to save up for your retirement period. Consider using bitcoin to supplement your retirement savings while doing due diligence to ensure that it is worth the risk.
By Clinton Nwachukwu, Content Writer at Yellow Card