L-R: Olabisi Obasa (representative from Zenith International bank); Samuel Oluyemi (representative from Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS); Mrs. Rachael Osa Obi (Chief Compliance Officer, Trustfund Pensions Ltd); Daniel Chokor (representative from Zenith Pensions Custodian Ltd (ZPC); and Comr. R. A. Shamaki (Pension Desk Officer, Nigeria Civil Service Union) at the 2017 Employers Interactive Forum in Abuja, organized by Trustfund Pensions Ltd in conjunction with ZPC and NIBSS.
A cross-section of attendees at the event.
The 2017 employers’ fora, organized by Trustfund Pensions Limited were held in various locations across the country. The exercise, which is an annual event, provided a platform for Trustfund to interact with employers. The fora were also used to sensitise employers on their responsibilities in accordance with the provisions of the Pension Reform Act 2014 (PRA 2014) and other pension related issues that employers may encounter.
LAGOS FORUM (IKEJA):
Speaking at the Lagos forum, Chief Compliance Officer of Trustfund, Mrs. Rachael Osa-Obi, explained that the law expects the employer to remit combined deductions (employer/employee), including employers’ contribution, seven days after payment of salaries. Adding however, that most employers do not remit as and when due.
According to her, “it will be wonderful to have 100 percent compliance with that seven days remittance after payment of salaries, which is what we are actually targeting.” Noting however, that “achieving 90 per cent compliance will be wonderful for contributors, because at the end of the day, what is important is the ability to render world class service to our contributors, not just at the point of contributing but at the point of benefit payment which is the ultimate for us.”
She also emphasized the fact that benefit payment is the crux of every activity in Trustfund. Noting that from opening of Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) to remittance of contributions, to investment of funds, all these are geared towards ensuring an easy and stress free benefit payment. However, if an employer does not remit, benefit payment will be hampered.
On actions taken by Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) against defaulting employers, Mrs. Obi stated that, “we are not empowered to proceed against them in court. However, because this scheme is private sector driven, what we do is to appeal to them, write letters and if after all these overtures nothing concrete comes out, we escalate to the National Pension Commission (PenCom) who are our regulators and by law, are empowered to proceed against them. We do this regularly and what the regulator does is to send some agents called ‘Recovery Agents’ to go after these employers who are identified as recalcitrant employers and some of them comply. Where the need arises, PenCom proceeds against them in court.”
L-R; John Opara (CRM, Trustfund Pensions Ltd.); Leke Olakuleyin (representative from NIBSS); Ogechi Ewuru (Compliance Officer, Trustfund Pensions Ltd.); Mike Obaju (Trustfund Pensions Ltd. Business Manager, Onipanu branch, Lagos); and Daniel Onatoye (Representative from Zenith Pensions Custodian) at the 2017 Employers Forum organised by Trustfund Pensions Limited, recently.
Speaking on the challenges encountered by the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs), Trustfund Compliance Officer, Mr. Ogechi Ewuru stated that “in most cases the problems are from the employers. At the point of remittance, we often discover that attached payment schedules, reflecting employees details such as Personal Identification Number (PIN), name e.t.c., are incomplete and as a result, such payments cannot be credited.
According to him, this forum will also provide an opportunity for TFP to update their database of the Pension Desk Officers (PDOs) of the companies represented here today. This will help ensure seamless resolution of any of the problems mentioned above.
Mr. Daniel Onatoye who represented Zenith Pension Custodian (ZPC) at the event, described the journey of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) as a success story. According to him, RSA holders now monitor their accounts through their monthly SMS notifications from PFAs, as well as the monthly/quarterly statements. In the same vein, the retirees are now getting their pension payments as and when due in their bank accounts, unlike in the past.
Bolaji Adepoju of the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS) explained that the Electronic Pension Contribution Collection System (EPCCOS) plays a major role in ensuring effective remittance. According to her, EPCCOS “is a Contribution Collection System that tracks monthly employees pension remittance schedules produced by employers for PFAs and records matching payments to the custodian accounts of the employees PFAs uniquely.” She said the NIBSS provided this electronic platform to allow employers submit schedules and make payments online and entrench the principle of transparency and accountability as reflected in the reporting requirements of the PFAs and PFCs to both the contributor and the PenCom.
Images from the Employers Forum organised by Trustfund Pensions Limited recently.
Cross section of attendees at the Victoria Island forum.
Cross section of attendees at the Ikeja forum.
Trustfund Pensions staff at the Victoria Island forum.
Trustfund Pensions staff registering attendees at the Victoria Island forum.
Mr. Obiora Ozoekwem, Trustfund Regional Manager, Lagos.
Mr. Leke Olakuleyin, Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS) representative.
PENSION FUND ASSETS RISE BY N862BN
The latest report on the Nigerian pension fund administration, which was released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the National Pension Commission (PenCom), indicated that the country’s pension fund assets increased by N862bn to N6.164tn as of December 31, 2016.
According to the report, the N6.164tn pension fund assets represent six per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product, an increase of N862bn when compared to the N5.302tn recorded in 2015. A large percentage of the fund is invested in the domestic market.
PenCom also said that the Federal Government of Nigeria debt securities had the highest weight percentage of 71.28 of the total pension fund assets, This, closely followed by ordinary shares with 9.48 per cent weight; money market securities with 6.51 per cent weight; while infrastructure funds had the least with 0.03 per cent weight.
“Participants within the age distribution below 40 years have the highest percentage composition by sector and gender. These are closely followed by participants within the age brackets of 40 to 49 years and 50 to 59 years, respectively, while participants above 60 years have the least percentage composition by sector and gender,” the report stated.
Eight Keys to a Successful Retirement Life
Someone once said:
While there are lots of books available on retirement, the only book that really matters is the one that you write yourself!
There are some things that we can learn from others who have made the transition into the kind of life that they wanted. Some would say that they were “happily retired”, while others wouldn’t even admit to being retired at all! That’s the point–this next phase of your life will be about living the kind of life that YOU decide. It might include work, it might be travel or it might be learning and doing new things! It is up to you.
Here are eight keys that you should think about as you create this picture of your retirement life. This will give you a structure and foundation to build your plans;
1. Having a positive attitude towards your future
Your ability to ‘roll with the punches’ will dictate how you approach most areas of your future life. There are life changes that you can expect in retirement, both positive and challenging. In fact, sociologists have identified at least six separate “life transitions” that will affect most people as they move through their retirement life. Perhaps the greatest transition of all is the one that you see each time you look in a mirror and see yourself change. It is easy to forget that “getting older” is a physical issue, not a mental one.
2. A clear vision of the kind of life that you want.
When you think of the word ‘retirement’, what vision comes to mind? Is retirement a work issue for you, or maybe a financial and investment plan? Far too many pre retirees make the mistake of thinking that the financial plan and the retirement plan are the same thing– that the life part will take care of itself. This stage of your life deserves a more holistic look and plan than simply assuming that you are beginning a thirty-year long weekend. What do you want your life to look like? What changes do you anticipate along the way? How will you get the most out of each and every day? Those are important questions as you contemplate your move into this next phase of your life.
3. A healthy approach to mental and physical aging
It is one thing to say that you want to be positive about the future. If that is true for you, then healthy aging will be a major part of your retirement plans and lifestyle. While the aging process is normal and affects us all in different ways, there are some things that we can all do to ensure that we “put time on our side” by looking after ourselves. Most people think that being healthy physically is the key to healthy aging. In retirement, healthy mental aging is just as important (and some would say even more so.) How much do you understand about the basic principles of healthy physical and mental aging? Are you doing something each and every day to nourish your need to use and expand your mind or to honor your body and do what you can to maintain your physical health?
4. A positive definition of ‘Work’
Your work is the thing that you do to contribute your skills, experience, labor or knowledge to society in some way. It is also a way for you to “self-actualize” and create positive stress in your life. Even when you leave the traditional workplace, you will still have a need to share your workplace strengths and transferable skills. If you have a positive attitude towards the workplace, then the desire to have a retirement free from any kind of work becomes irrelevant. A wise person once said, “If you love what you do, you never have to work again!” By the way, work doesn’t have to be full-time, it doesn’t have to be something you don’t like to do, and it doesn’t even have to be for pay! Many retirees use volunteering as a way to replace the things that they miss most about their previous work.
5. Nurturing family and personal relationships
Our close personal relationships define us, give us a purpose for living our lives and encourage us to create life goals. We all have a basic need to share our lives, experiences and life journey with those closest to us. In retirement, our friendships and close relationships may offer us the validation that we may have received in the workplace. Those relationships give us the opportunity to “connect” on many levels with someone close and to share ourselves. Psychologists have identified our desire to share ourselves as a basic human need. This need is often satisfied in the activities that we enjoy with our spouse or partner, friends and family. Researchers have found that people in satisfying personal relationships have fewer illnesses and higher levels of good overall health. That’s the clinical rationale. In real life terms, having people close to you who will share your life and be there for you will not only add to your overall life enjoyment, but will also add years on to your life!
6. An active social network
As you get older, your social support network becomes increasingly important. You draw your social support network from a much broader social network. Successful retirees generally have robust social networks that provide them with friendship, fulfilling activities and life structure. As part of your retirement plan, you might want to think about the quality of the social network that you have today and your plans to build it. One of the lessons that we can learn about the aging process is that our social networks begin to shrink–if we aren’t continually adding to them. You can join clubs, meet new people and get out of the house to do new things. In retirement you are going to want a lot of people who you can count on and it makes good sense to continue to seek out new opportunities to socialize.
7. A balanced approach to leisure
Leisure is a fundamental human need. We use it to recharge our batteries, to act as a diversion in our lives, to create excitement, anticipation or simply to rest and contemplate. Things change, however, when leisure becomes the central focus of our lives. Leisure, by its very nature, loses its luster when it is the norm in our life rather than the diversion. For many retirees, the idea of leisure is associated with “not having to do anything”. In the end, a lack of stimulation affects our mental and emotional state and then ultimately our physical well being. There is a big difference between “time-filling” activities and “fulfilling” activities that we look forward to. In retirement, leisure activities often replace workplace functions to meet the basic needs that we have. Successful retirees balance their leisure over many different activities and take the opportunity to do new things and not get into a rut.
8. Maintaining ‘financial comfort’
Some retirees feel that a happy retirement is guaranteed by financial security. However, there is no price tag on successful retirement. As someone once said, “having a million dollars is NOT a retirement plan!” Financial comfort refers to being able to manage your life in a satisfying and fulfilling way using the financial resources that you have. If financial discomfort contributes to retirement stress, then your financial plan becomes a negative rather than a positive. The keys to achieving financial comfort are to have a clear understanding of the financial resources you have and the demands on your money that will come from the life you lead (both now and in the future). One good way to look at your financial situation in this next life phase is to think about the three “buckets” that you will have to keep filled in order to achieve financial comfort:
- Your “essentials” bucket, which will pay for all of your basic needs
- Your “lifestyle” bucket, which will fund those fun things that you dream of doing in retirement
- Your “nest egg” bucket, which will fund any emergencies that may arise, provide you with a sense of security through good and challenging times and ultimately will form part of your legacy.
Teacher and Pupil
Teacher: How do you make holy water?
Pupil: Boil the hell out of it.
Teacher: What do you get from a pampered cow?
Pupil: Spoiled milk.
Teacher: When everything's coming your way,
Pupil: you're in the wrong lane.
Encoding and Decoding
The village blacksmith hired an enthusiastic new apprentice willing to work long, hard hours.
He instructed the boy, “When I take the shoe out of the fire, I’ll lay it on the anvil.
When I nod my head, you hit it with the hammer.”
The apprentice did exactly as he was told, and now he’s the new village blacksmith.
Imaginary is the Word
During a simulated attack, the troops have to defend themselves against an imaginary enemy, as the sergeant calls it. Bawling out orders, he notices that one recruit shows little response. "You there," the sergeant shouts, "the imaginary enemy is advancing, and you’re caught in the crossfire. Action!"
The recruit takes ten steps to one side.
"What are you doing, man?" Yells the sergeant, purple with fury.
"I'm taking shelter behind an imaginary hill, Sergeant," answers the recruit calmly.
Bill, Jim and Scott
Bill, Jim, and Scott were at a convention together and were sharing a large suite on the top of a 75-story skyscraper.
After a long day of meetings they were shocked to hear that the elevators in their hotel were broken and they would have to climb 75 flights of stairs to get to their room.
Bill said to Jim and Scott, let's break the monotony of this unpleasant task by concentrating on something interesting.
I'll tell jokes for 25 flights, and Jim can sing songs for 25 flights, and Scott can tell sad stories the rest of the way.
At the 26th floor Bill stopped telling jokes and Jim began to sing. At the 51st floor Jim stopped singing and Scott began to tell sad stories. "I will tell my saddest story first," he said. "I left the
room key in the car!"
The temporary Sunday school teacher was struggling to open a combination lock on the supply cabinet. She had been told the combination, but couldn't quite remember it.
She went to the pastor's study and asked for help. The pastor came into the room and began to turn the dial.
After the first two numbers he paused and stared blankly for a moment. Finally he looked serenely heavenward and his lips moved silently.
Then he looked back at the lock, and quickly turned to the final number, and opened the lock.
The teacher was amazed. "I'm in awe at your faith, pastor," she said.
"It's really nothing," he answered. "The number is on a piece of tape on the ceiling."
The first years
You spend the first 2 years of their lives teaching them to walk and talk.
Then you spend the next 16 telling them to sit down and be quiet.