An RSA holder under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) can access his or her retirement benefits under some certain conditions.
There are different conditions under the CPS through which an RSA holder will be able to access retirement benefits whether he or she is of retirement age or not. The following are the various grounds upon which retirement benefits may be accessed under the CPS.
Mandatory Retirement: This happens when an employee disengages from service at the stated retirement age of 50 or on completion of the length of service at his or her organization after also attaining 50 years in age. In this instance, the RSA holder will be able to access his or her RSA balance on fulfillment of this condition.
Compulsory Retirement: Unlike mandatory retirement, this type of retirement occurs before the employee attains the age of 50 years old but in accordance with the terms and conditions of service of his or her organization. Since the RSA holder is below the age of 50 years at retirement, he or she will only be able to access part of his RSA balance and this is a maximum of 25% of his RSA balance while the rest will be accessible when he or she clocks 50 years in age.
Retirement on Medical Ground: Just as the name implies, this type of retirement is induced by ill-health or incapacitation of the RSA holder. Such medical conditions will be so certified by a qualified health practitioner or medical board stating that such RSA holder is no longer medically or physically sound to carry out his or her official duties.
Temporary loss of employment: This usually occurs when an employee who is an RSA holder is disengaged or voluntarily disengages from his or her employment temporarily for at least four months and such RSA holder has not taken up another employment within that period. Such RSA holder will be able to access part of his or her RSA balance to the tune of 25%.
It is pertinent to note also that any RSA holder who had accessed part of his or her retirement benefit can only do so ONCE. This means that whoever had accessed part of his RSA balance i.e. 25% benefit payment, can only do that once in a lifetime, while he or she will only be able to access the balance at retirement or attaining the age of 50 years old which ever is later.
In the second series of this article, we shall be looking at what an RSA holder needs to do to seamlessly access his or her retirement benefits either before finally retiring or when he or she finally retires.