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By: Tukuru Muftau

Retirement refers to a situation when an employee comes to the end of his or her working career. It is a time when an individual disengages from work that has been his or her main source of livelihood.

Retirement is a journey, not a destination. It is a journey into the next phase of life rather than a destination. Retirement starts from the day you can no longer do what you use to do again.

It can be voluntary retirement, statutory retirement, or retirement by death. It can come early for those with a health challenge and later for those that retire statutorily from active service.


The process of retirement is equally important as the goal. Kindly follow the steps below for easy access of pension.

  • Visit your PFA, ask for your Comprehensive RSA Statement from 2004 till date, Sit down with it and study it for any anomaly.
  • Still with your PFA, tell them you want to do your Data Re-capturing/Update This is needed to properly align your data with PenCom and prepare you for verification. No data update, no verification. No verification, no pension payment.
  • Make sure that your name with your PFA and your date of birth is correct. For instance: TUKURU ALORI LAWAL is not the same as ALORI LAWAL TUKURU (Principles of first name and last name).
  • If the data on your NIMC and the one with your PFA is incorrect, you’ll find it difficult to undergo verification. The earlier you start this check and confirmation the better.
  • Don’t think you have a year more. You are already out of the system. According to the psychology of retirement, from ages 35 to 49, is your pre-retirement stage. From ages 50 to 55, that is your exact retirement stage. And from ages 56 to 65, you are already retired. In fact, if you hold an exalted position, someone is already lobbying for it while you think you are still there. They can’t wait for you to go even as they laugh with you every day, they are counting down for you.
  • Think of what can make you happy after retirement, get engaged with religious activities, CDAs exercise, family functions, etc.
  • Remove your mind from Programmed Withdrawal or Annuity options of retirement for now, your focus should be on getting your verification right. You can start discussing that when you are duly verified.
  • Let your children know that you are retired already so that you can concentrate on yourself. If you have a child that is 30 years and above that, you are still supporting, advise them to go and learn a trade to be economically viable. If not they will eat deep into your pension as if you worked and suffered together.


Gone are the days when accessing retirement benefits comes with different difficulties. Getting retirement benefits nowadays is very easy once the necessary documents are submitted. Below is the checklist for processing retirement benefits.


1) A request letter addressed to the Managing Director of your PFA for the payment of your retirement benefit;

2) A copy of the notice of retirement/resignation letter to your employer

3) A copy of the acceptance of retirement/resignation letter by your employer,

4) A letter of confirmation is required from the employer

5) A copy of your payslip (within 3 months of retirement) duly stamped and signed by the designated officer in your account section.

6) Two passport photographs


Once the necessary documents have been submitted, the PFA will generate a template that shows the monthly pensions and the lump sum due for payment. The retiree will be properly educated on his or her withdrawal options. i.e. Programmed Withdrawal and Annuity. Any pension plan you choose will definitely cater to you during your retirement for life.

Features of Programmed Withdrawal (PW)

  • A product offered and administered by Pension Fund Administrators (PFA).
  • Regulated by the National Pension Commission (PenCom).
  • Pays monthly/quarterly pension over an expected life span as determined using the A(55) Table of annuitants ultimate rates published by the institute of actuaries of the united kingdom (amended).
  • Pension is at least 50% of the final salary at retirement subject to RSA balance.
  • The balance in the Retirement Saving Account (RSA) is reinvested by PFA to generate income/funds for the retiree. The profit/loss on the investment is credited to the retiree RSA.
  • Retirees under PW benefit from periodic pension enhancement resulting from returns on investment of the pension funds in their RSAs.
  • Balances of retirement benefits remain in the Retiree’s RSA and the RSA statement of account is issued to the retiree quarterly or on request.
  • A retiree may move to retiree life annuity (RLA).
  • In case of death of a retiree, the legal beneficiary(ies) will be paid the total RSA balance.

Features Of Retiree Life Annuity (RLA)

  • A product offered and administrated by life insurance companies.
  • Regulated by National Insurance Commission (NAICOM).
  • Pays monthly/quarterly pension over an expected life span as determined using the A(55) Table of annuitants ultimate rates published by the institute of actuaries of the united kingdom (amended).
  • Annuity is at least 50% of final salary at retirement subject to RSA balance.
  • The premium transferred is invested in a central Retiree Life Annuity Pool and income/loss earned belongs to the Life Insurance Company.
  • Periodic pension enhancement is not applicable to annuitants.
  • Balance of retirement benefits are in a pool of annuity fund ( belong to all members on annuity). Retirees do not receive any RSA statement of account or annuity statement of account.
  • Once on Retiree Life Annuity, Retiree can not move back to Programmed Withdrawal.
  • Annuity is guaranteed for ten years. If the retiree dies within ten years of retirement, the monthly annuity will be paid to his beneficiary(ies) for the remaining years up to ten years at a discounted value. However, if the retiree dies after ten years of retirement, no payment will be made to his/her beneficiary(ies).this is because the insurance company bears the risk/reward of investment.

(Mr. Tukuru Muftau, is a seasoned pension specialist with years of practical experience dealing with and solving Retirees’ retirement matters in one of the leading Pension Fund Administrators in Nigeria.)

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