June 25, 2024
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With the rising and falling inflation rate continuing to erode the valuation of commodities and services in the country, players in the insurance and pension industry have called on Nigerian workers to diversify their retirement plans to have a better retirement future.

The industry players, who at the weekend gathered at the Maiden edition of the 2024 Inspenonline Retirement Summit in Lagos, said with the current economic situation, pension contributions alone cannot guarantee a better retirement life, saying that, those who rely on their contribution during retirement will live a miserable life after retirement.

To this end, they urged employees to always set aside funds from their salaries for Additional Voluntary Contribution (AVC) or purchase an Endowment Policy in insurance companies to augment whatever may be coming from CPS’s monthly stipend.

  They also agreed that employees should negotiate retirement plans with their employers the same way they negotiated their salaries, they advised everyone to search for their purpose in life which is the passion they have, and start planning towards it at an earlier stage of their working life, such as, at retirement when they want to make it a full-time business, the transition would be seamless.

 The keynote speaker, who is the founder and Managing Director ZER Consulting Africa Limited, Ms. Adeolu Adewumi-Zer, urged workers to identify their passion earlier in life and invest in it at retirement, saying, this would amount to investment meets opportunities.

  Adewumi-Zer, who is also the former Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Allianz Insurance stressed that most people entered into retirement unprepared because they lacked financial planning, noting that, each worker should have a financial planner who will guide them on the best investment options and helps in the management of one’s wealth.

 According to her, most people who entered into retirement without fully prepared was because they lack financial planning, each worker should have a financial planner who will guide them on the best investment options and help in the management of their wealth.

 According to her, “Retirement isn’t an ending, it’s a magnificent new beginning – a chance to unleash your resilience and craft a fulfilling future that transcends the confines of your workplace.

 Don’t be passive participants in your retirement! Raise your voice, ask questions, and engage experts, network to create a personalised retirement plan that ignites your passions and fuels your dreams.

 Together, we can redefine retirement, making it a time not just for financial security, but also for purpose, passion, and lifelong exploration.

 She said financial security is crucial, of course. But true fulfillment comes from a life rich in purpose, connection, and continuous growth. Embrace personal transformation as you plan for the future. Explore your passions, reconnect with loved ones, and consider ways to contribute your skills and knowledge to the world.

 Retire from your job, but never retire from your passions; the greatest adventures await you in this next chapter.”

 On her path, the former Director General, of Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC), Mrs Folashade Onanuga, tasked employers of labour must, as a matter of urgency, inculcate retirement training for each employee, such that, he or she can be financially independent when retired.

 Onanuga, urged retirees as well as workers to cut down their expenses by focusing mainly on what they need and not what they want.

 “You need financial discipline at retirement because your pension contributions alone cannot give you comfort in retirement. Don’t live above your limit, don’t live within your limit, but live below your limit, such that, you can cope with financial pressure that comes with retirement,” she advised.

 Similarly,  the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Universal Insurance Plc, Ben Ujuatuonu, said, those who start work earlier in life have a lot of opportunities to plan retirement early, adding that, five years to retirement, one should have concluded and finalised on what business to do at retirement.

 Moreover, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Sanlam Life Insurance, Tunde Mimiko, urged workers to envision the life they want to live in retirement and avoid a situation whereby their current life is defined by career alone, adding that, “pursue your passion as well, build a network of long-lasting friends as they will be instrumental in your retirement life, don’t let your life be defined by your current position, it’s transient and derive fulfillment in whatever you decide to do.

 The rector, the College of Insurance and Financial Management (CIFM), Dr. Chizoba Ehiogu, urged the current workers to pay attention to their health while still active because a healthy body is needed to retire without tears.

 Don’t rush into a business or investment you don’t have enough experience in. When you retire, it should be the beginning of another journey to drive your passion,’ she advised.

 The Chairman, the Association of Pension Desk Officers in government parastatals, Nze Peter Nze, lamented that the salary package for civil servants is too meagre to give them a life without tears in retirement, urged insurance companies to conceptualise projects for civil service and government retirees, affirming that, his group is ready to partner insurance industry on this.

 The former Executive Director, Leadway Assurance Company Limited, Ms Adetola Adegbayi said the inflation rate is growing at 22 per cent and that, ‘if you have any investment below this, you are going to retire poor. Hence, you can buy a Financial Endowment policy with insurance companies.

 Urging Nigerians to strike away the mentality of being dependent on an employer for survival, she added that, “we always look for who to pay us. Why don’t you pay someone to circulate the capital? Circulate your capital within your rural communities by engaging in projects that can develop our rural areas.

 She urged people to pay taxes such that they can always query when those tax payments aren’t working for taxpayers, stating that, this is what advanced countries do.

 On his part, the former managing director/CEO, FBN Insurance Limited (Now Sanlam Life), Mr. Val Ojumah, said, life in retirement depends on relationships kept while one was working, saying, the awful part of retirement is loneliness.

 While advising people on how to retire without tears, Ojumah, who is now a retiree, said: “Those who retire in tears are those who never acknowledge that they will retire one day, while in service. Don’t choose expensive passion, moderate your passion with some reality checks, try to buy health insurance, don’t start any business you are not familiar with, and buy an endowment plan when you are still working. Integrate with the community.”

 Chairman of the event, past President Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, Fatai Lawal, implored the public to give adequate consideration to retirement as it would come whether they prepared or failed to prepare for it.

 The promoter of the summit and the publisher/CEO, Inspenonline, Chuks Udo Okonta, stressed that the summit was conceptualised from findings that revealed most people enter into retirement unprepared, hence, a forum to prepare Nigerians for retirement earlier in their working life.

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