20 February 2013

Nigeria: 'Pension Contributors Should Inform PFAs Four Months to Retirement'

Contributors to the Contributory Pension Scheme, CPS, have been urged to inform their Pension Fund Operators, PFAs, four months to their retirement so that payment of pension will not be unduly delayed.

Executive Director Technical, Lagos State Pension Commission, LASPEC, Mrs. Folashade Onanuga, who stated this in Lagos, said that delays observed in accessment of pension benefits often stem from the retirees.

According to Onanuga, if retirees documents are received by LASPEC four months before their retirement, their accrued rights would be credited into their Retirement Savings Account (RSA) at the time they are retiring.

*Pensioners queuing for verification

She urged workers approaching retirement to commence the process of their retirement six months to their exit.

According to Onanuga, LASPEC is working out ways to enable retirees' access their pensions a month after their retirement, adding that the state is poised to make retirees enjoy their benefits immediately they leave service.

Director-General LASPEC, Rotimi Hussain, said the commission is working out ways to assist retirees and their next-of-kin in accessing their benefits through preparation of Will. He noted that LASPEC is exploring the possibility of identifying reputable organisations that will assist workers in the area of Will preparation.

He said, "The erroneous belief in many quarters is that if you prepare a Will, you may die early. This is not the case. Preparation of Will is not a license to early death, rather, it is an essential document which allows beneficiaries or next-of-kin unfettered access to the estate left behind by their benefactor.

"If a person dies intestate without a Will, the beneficiaries would be required to provide a letter of administration from the Probate Registry of Law Court before the beneficiaries can access the balance in the RSA."

Hussain noted that obtaining the letter of administration is often difficult, considering the time and finances involved; hence, he called on workers to immediately seek legal opinion on Will preparation before it is too late.

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