– Explains why access is limited to avoid dupes preying on retirees
Nigerian workers have contributed over N8 trillion into the pensions fund; now, the Stanbic IBTC Pension, a pension fund administrator (PFA), has stormed the eastern region of Nigeria to mobilize those about to retire and guide them on how to access their share of this huge pool of money.
A sea of human heads swam at The Hub event centre on Odili Road in Port Harcourt last week as the impending retirees turned out in their numbers to get the facts of the message.
The IBTC’s executive director (ED) Investment, Dele Sotubo, reminded the huge crowd that the best situation is to retire young and retire good, saying steady contribution would make a worker comfortable at retirement.
Sotubo defined retirement as taking a break from active work, but said planning makes all the difference, insisting that every retiree is a potential retiree.
The ED unleashed experts who drilled the audience on various aspects of retirement intelligence, from how to plan retirement, how access the fund, rationale behind access principles, health management in retirement, and how to escape dupes that flawk around retirees to gyp them of them lump sums.
The crowd seemed highly interested in how to draw their money, with many clamouring for total withdrawal so they could go dump the fund in investments. Sotubo however stepped in to rescue Chibuogwu Omeze, a lady access expert who was almost being verbally mobbed by the audience over the issue of not being allowed to withdraw all the savings at once.
The ED explained that it was to save retirees from themselves. He said in recent past, many investment hawkers sold deals to retirees only for woes to follow. He warned that pension money was a worker’s last lump sum and that if lost, doom usually followed. The hall became calm at this point.
He said the lump sum was usually calculated from how old a retiree was, how much he paid per month, how much salary he received per month, etc. he referred workers to the ‘Pension Calculator’ online.
Sotubo explained that the overall aim is to help a retiree get at least 50 per cent of what he was earning while on duty and earn this up to the age of 84 or more.
Omeze had unveiled the different access packages available to retiring workers such as lump sum programmed payment, lump sum annuity, and en-bloc. She said the third is available only to persons retiring below 50 years and had not contributed up N550,000.
She explained why most persons witness problems accessing their retirement funds, saying they may have failed to resolve a lot of issues before retirement, such as updating the database, ensuring that age declared is same with what is in the pension file with the PFA, getting pay slips within last three months, letter or evidence of employment, etc. She said those in the public sector often fail to participate in the retirement biometric update.
She mentioned the various ways a retiree could get information and guidelines to access the fund.
The health expert, Olubiyi Adesina, showed people how to enjoy and collect all they have laboured for, how to achieve longevity, what to eat, how to eat, how to eat, exercises, etc.
Nigeria is said to have hit N8 trillion in its pension scheme and that N4.04 trillion representing 53.81 percent of the pension funds assets were invested in the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) Bonds, while 15.38 percent amounting to N1.18 trillion went into Treasury Bills (TBs). The statistics further showed that N672.23 billion or 8.94 percent was invested in domestic ordinary shares, N626.3 billion or 8.33 percent in banks, while N262.49 billion or 3.48 percent was invested in corporate bonds.