Collins Badu Agyemang, an Industrial and Organisational Psychologist, has advised that the pension system should be revised in order to reduce the menace of age manipulation.
He said research indicated that people did not have confidence in the pensions arrangement in the country when the issue of age manipulation came up.
Mr Agyemang gave the advice in a study presentation on age manipulation, at the maiden colloquium of the University of Ghana Centre For Ageing Studies.
“Data management is critical because the future generation need a concrete database.
“So while we correct the present system, data of new births must be entered into a direct system to correct these challenges regarding age manipulation,” he said.
He explained that the issue of age manipulation was social as well as political.
Mr Agyemang said the social aspect had to do with the advantages one may deride with regard to gaining employment, getting marriage partners, enlisting in the military or police service or getting travelling opportunities.
He added that the political aspect had to do with policies made and so, the fact that people have to retire at 60 years did not necessarily mean they did not have the competency, ability to keep working, and so making it illegal or criminalising it may be absurd.
He said criminalising victims should be contingent on macro initiatives backed by research.
“We need to support such decisions by carrying out research as to why people reduce their ages to help policy makers, social scientists… to discuss and curb the issue of age manipulation,” he said.
Mr Agyemang said age manipulation may happen in the western world, but the rate was low, because they had a very viable, and less modifiable database.
“The extent to which manipulation may occur in the western world may be less, and the dynamics and rationale for age manipulation may not be as the socio-economic in the Ghanaian context,” he added.
He said starting careers early may also be of help in curbing the age manipulation menace, however, it introduced another challenge that questioned the young age of graduates, as to how competent they would be in the workforce.
“Entrepreneurship and the driving trend of entrepreneurship is also good, but in most cases, we only see and hear this in the media and in schools, but in reality, there are a number of social oddities that is not spoken about when it comes to entrepreneurship and so, that in itself may not be an antidote as to why people reduce their age.
“If indeed before you can get a contract, you need to be of a particular age bracket, the person may be an entrepreneur, but would still reduce his or her age in order to get these unfair advantages,” he added.