Lagos Regional Manager, Obiora Ozoekwem, addressing retirees at the forum in Lagos.
Trustfund Pensions Limited has commenced its 2017 annual Retirees fora nationwide. The fora which is organised in all the geo-political zones/regions across the country, is to bring together all Trustfund retirees and those about to retire.
The fora which is a mandatory PENCOM requirement for all Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs), provides the much needed platform to keep retirees abreast of all new developments in the industry. It is also an opportunity to reach out to participants and resolve all outstanding issues with regards to their Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) such as; change of beneficiaries, phone numbers, home address, bank details and issues of unremitted contributions.
Speaking at the Abuja Forum, Maha Longe, a Customer Relationship Manager, explained that late remittance of funds into RSAs by employers is against the provision of the Pension Reform Act 2014. Employers of labour are expected to remit all deducted pension funds to the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) within seven days of payment of salaries.
Some employers remit quarterly, bi-annually or annually, this is wrong and at variance with the PRA 2014. According to her, late remittance leads to loss of income by retirees. Some retirees at retirement, complain about low income or income disparity with their peers, which is often attributed to late remittance by employers.
Cautioning employers against late remittance, Longe stated that Trustfund reports issues of non-compliance to the National Pension Commission (PenCom), for appropriate sanctions where applicable.
Also speaking at the event, Trustfund Regional Manager, North, Maurice Ogar, said the contributory pension scheme has brought stability to pension administration in the country.
He explained that the absence of protests either by retirees or labour unions is a sign that the scheme is on the right track although not without rough edges which will be smoothened in the course of time.
Also speaking, former Director General of the National Productivity Centre (NPC), Paul Bdliya, said while the amount was not too low, the prevailing economic circumstances in the country put pressure on retirees. This according to him, calls for an increment in the benefits paid to retirees under the scheme to help them cushion the effects of today’s economic reality in the country.
He lauded Trustfund for organising the retirees’ forum, stating that the forum brings retired people together to see themselves again and discuss mutual issues in the polity.
Trustfund staff conducting verification for retirees at the Kaduna forum recently.
A cross-section of attendees at the Trustfund 2017 Retirees forum in Asaba, recently.
Customers and retirees came out in large numbers in Lagos to attend the 2017 Forum. One of the retirees, Mr. Evans Ndiok applauded the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS). He noted that the scheme is better than the former, because the days of hopelessness are gone, as retirees no longer have to wait endlessly for months to collect their pension. He however decried the alarming state of the economy which has made it difficult to survive on monthly pension.
The Lagos Regional Manager of Trustfund Pensions Limited, Mr. Obiora Ozoekwem stressed that the retirees forum was organised to ensure that pensioners use their benefits judiciously and not fall prey to any financial scam.
According to him, the reason why upon retirement some people will earn better than others, is largely due to timely remittance by employers.
An employee whose fund was remitted on time, will earn better upon retirement as his funds can be invested and earn good returns.
He advised employees to always check their RSA balance and prevail upon their employers to remit their contributions on time so that they can get maximum benefits, as that is the only thing they would be left with upon retirement.
Some attendees at the Lagos Retiree Forum organised by Trustfund Pensions Limited, recently.
Pictures from the 2017 nationwide Retirees Fora of Trustfund Pensions Limited.
GETTING RID OF BAD BREATH
There are many reasons to cover up bad breath (halitosis), but if you're tired of quick fixes and want to get rid of halitosis once and for all, take these instructions to heart... or should we say, mouth?
Brush your teeth regularly.
Two major sources of mouth odor are bacteria and decaying food particles. There are hundreds of nooks and crannies in the fertile landscape of your mouth where these offending bits of "rot" can get lodged. Squeeze a pea-sized amount of toothpaste onto a soft bristled toothbrush, and hold the brush at a 45 degree angle to the gums. Brush your teeth on every surface in short, gentle strokes, being careful not to press too hard or irritate the gums. If done properly, brushing should take about three minutes. Brush your teeth and rinse with mouth wash at least twice a day, and floss at least once a day.
Clean your tongue.
It is not enough to simply brush your teeth. Since your tongue has a lot of surface area and is covered with textured bumps and grooves, it harbors more bacteria than the rest of your mouth combined. Removing the bacteria on your tongue can go a long way in reducing your bad breath. You can buy Orabrush or other tongue brushes from stores, or simply use your regular soft bristled toothbrush. Brush your tongue from back to front, rinsing the brush between strokes.
Floss every day.
Flossing your teeth is just as important to good oral health as brushing, and even more important for reducing bad breath. Make it as much of a mindless habit as brushing your teeth. At first, your gums might bleed as you dislodge chunks of food that have "stuck" to your teeth and gum for who knows how long. But take a second to smell the floss after you pass it through your teeth, if you dare. You'll see (or smell) where the bad breath is coming from.
Mouthwash helps to keep your mouth moist and helps to prevent bad breath. Choose a mouth wash containing chlorine dioxide. Many of the bacteria that cause halitosis live on the back of the tongue, too far back to remove with regular brushing or scraping. Luckily, vigorous swishing with a chlorine dioxide-containing wash can neutralize those bacteria. Try rinsing with mouth wash before brushing, flossing, and brushing or scraping the tongue, and again when you're done. This will ensure that you neutralize any bacteria that remain after the process is complete.
Consider chewing gum.
Any gum will help with bad breath because the chewing action results in more saliva being produced. Some gums, however, have better bad-breath-fighting abilities than others. Look for gum sweetened with xylitol (sugar only feeds the bacteria, causing more odor problems). Xylitol is a sugar substitute that actually works to prevent bacteria from replicating in the mouth.
Keep your mouth moisturized.
A dry mouth is a stinky mouth. That's why your breath is worse in the morning; your mouth produces less saliva as you sleep. Saliva is the enemy of bad breath because not only does it physically wash bacteria and food particles away, but it also has antiseptic and enzymes that kill bacteria. Chewing gum stimulates saliva production (in addition to covering up the odor with some kind of scent). Mints do not encourage saliva production. Drink water. Swish the water between your teeth from side to side. Water won't necessarily increase saliva production, but it'll wash out your mouth — and it is good for you.
Stop smoking and chewing tobacco products.
In case you needed yet another reason to stop this dangerous habit, tobacco is notorious for causing bad breath. In some cases, bad breath can be an early sign of oral cancer caused by smoking or chewing tobacco. It is vital that you stop smoking and see your doctor to be evaluated for this very serious condition.
Be mindful of Your Diet.
Eliminate odorous foods. Our bodies absorb the flavors and odors of the foods we eat, so particularly odorous cuisine can linger in your breath for hours after eating. Consider eliminating these foods from your diet, or at the least be sure to brush after eating. Vegetables in the Allium family, like onion, garlic, leeks, and chives, have a notorious pungent aroma. Eating these foods and foods prepared with them like hummus or curry can leave your breath particularly aromatic. However, these foods also have many health benefits, so rather than eliminating them, try to limit them to times when you will be alone afterwards, like dinners at home.
Eliminate or reduce coffee and alcohol.
The chemical compounds in these beverages alter the environment of your mouth, making it favorable for odor-causing bacteria to thrive. If you can't or don't want to quit drinking these beverages, be sure that after drinking them you rinse your mouth well with water or a mix of one part baking soda to eight parts water, and then brush your teeth well about 30 minutes later. Avoid brushing directly after drinking coffee or alcohol (or other acidic foods or drinks), as the acid in the drink can make your teeth vulnerable to abrasion from brushing.
Talk to a doctor.
If you've followed the above steps diligently and the bad breath persists, you may have a medical issue that needs to be treated. Bad breath is a sign that something is not right in your body. If altering your hygiene practices and your diet do not improve your symptoms of bad breath, there is a good chance that there is some other imbalance, infection, or disease in your body that is causing it.