Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC) on Wednesday urged prospective retirees in the state civil service to begin documentation with the commission, at least six months to their dates of retirement. Mr Afees Oyebo, a senior officer of the Inspectorate department of the commission said this during the virtual 18th Retirement Benefit Documentation Seminar organised by the commission. It was organised for prospective retirees for the months between June and December 2020 via Zoom platform.
Oyebo said early documentation by the retirees as stipulated in the pension law would enable prompt payment of their entitlements after retirement.
He said “Six months to retirement is the best time for prospective retirees to start putting their papers together. There is a saying that as you make your bed, you will lay on it. If you leave everything to the last minute, the likelihood of you being paid on time is slim. A stitch in time saves everything.”
According to him, there is an essence of sending the required documents to LASPEC as directed. Oyebo said this was to ensure that the benefits due to retirees for their services under the ‘Pay As You Earn’ scheme which was discontinued on May 31, 2007 is computed and credited into their Retirement Savings Account (RSA).
Mr Babatunde Yusuff, Director, Information Communication Technology (ICT) department, LASPEC, urged the prospective retirees to embrace the various e- channel platforms of the commission to send their documents and other required information and enquiries.
Yusuff said that this was because the era of facial or manual documentation was already fading out, especially with the reality of COVID -19 and its recommendation on social distancing. He said, “Scan and send your documents or enquiries to our e-channels of engagement, which include official E-mail, Retiree portal – laspecportal.com.ng, website, helpline, direct messages, zoom and other webinar channels.”
Mr Adewale Soetan, Deputy Director, Finance and Investment Department, LASPEC, also advised the prospective retirees to reduce their expenditure as they plan for retirement. He said that this was important because the salary and fringe benefits available to them while working would stop.
Soetan urged the intending retirees to avoid investing their lump sum on risky ventures, but rather invest in productive and not wasteful assets. He said, in the short term, while waiting for a long term investment, retirees may buy financial instruments such as bonds or treasury bills and engage in daily income cash flow businesses. He also advised the retirees to cancel any form of credit card, social expenses and must not borrow against their monthly pension or engage in government contracts that have no cash back.”
Also, Mrs Ada Duggan, Managing Director, Career Anchor Consulting Ltd, charged the retirees to plan for a healthy living in retirement just as they engage in financial planning. This, she said, is because healthy living in retirement is a critical component. Duggan said due to the rising cost of qualitative healthcare in Nigeria, it was important to plan in advance how to address health care expenses in retirement. She said, invest a little time in your health and lifestyle every day to experience and enjoy very high Return on Investment (RIO) – longevity and enhanced quality of life.
In his welcome address, Mr Babatunde Obilana, Director-General, LASPEC said the virtual seminar was put together to guide and assist the prospective retirees to have a smooth exit from active service. Obilana, represented by Mr Olumuyiwa Oshin, Executive Director, Finance and Investment, LASPEC said the essence of the programme was to educate the intending retirees on the documentation requirement they needed to put in place. He said this was to ensure that they were able to have access to their accrued rights and pensions as the case maybe after retirement.