This article explains what you need to know about Nigerian Pension Fund Contribution. It addresses;
- How much to contribute
- When to contribute
- How much you can withdraw
- Tax implications
- And when you can withdraw
The current pension act ensures your pension funds remains one of the most regulated funds in Nigeria. Despite been around for over a decade not many people fully understand how it works especially as it affects their contributions. So without wasting time lets dive straight into providing answers to some of the questions you may have.
What is a Pension Contributory Scheme?
A Pension contributory scheme is a scheme designed to ensure employees derive the benefit of being paid their pension adequately and as when due upon retirement. The Pension Commission regulates the fund. It is designed in such a way as to ensure your employer has no control over how your pension is invested and paid to you.
How much do I contribute?
Employees are expected to contribute 8% of their (Basic+Housing+Transport allowance) every month. Your employer deducts this amount from your salary every month. Your employers also contribute a minimum of 10% of your (Basic+Housing+Transport allowance) every month on your behalf.
The total contribution of at least 18% of your Basic, Housing and Transport Allowance is then transferred at the end of the month to your Retirement Savings Account, which is opened in your name by your Pension Fund Custodian. The amount is then assessed by your Pension Fund Administrators who help you invest the money.
Can I contribute more?
You can contribute more that the 8% stipulated. Your employer can also contribute more than the 8% or even contribute the whole 18% on your behalf. You can also contribute any lump sum amount on your own provided you have complied with the 8% contribution. Meaning you can just contribute voluntarily should you have excess cash.
Is it taxable?
Any amount payable as a retirement benefit under the Act is not taxable. However, any income earned from any voluntary contribution made (as indicated above) shall be subject to tax at the point of withdrawal where the withdrawal is made before the end of 5 years from the date the voluntary contribution was made.
PENCOM has recently issued updated guidelines addressing this issue.
Who is exempted from Contributing?
I. According to the act, any employee who has three years (or less) left to retire prior to the commencement of the act is exempted. This means only those who where due to retire three years before 2004 are exempted from the act as such all employees are currently not exempted.
II. The categories of person mentioned in section 291 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 shall be exempted from the Scheme. This refers to judicial officers such as Supreme Court Justices, Judges etc. Members of the Armed Forces are also exempted.
What do the Pension Fund Administrators do with the money?
The Pension Fund Administrators are very well regulated by the Pension Commission and have a set of guidelines upon which they operate. As such, they are only expected to invest your money in certain authorised markets and with limits. Currently, they can invest in stocks, treasury bills, bonds, real estate and other investments as approved by the Pension Commission. See Authorised Markets and Investments.
See list of PFA’s and their addresses.
When can you make withdrawals from your pension fund?
No person shall be entitled to make any withdrawal from his retirement savings account before attaining the age of 50 years. However, there are exceptions. These are if an employee
(a) is retired on the advice of a suitably qualified physician or a properly constituted medical board certifying that the employee is no longer mentally or physically capable of carrying out the functions of his office;
(b) is retired due to his total or permanent disability either of mind or body: or
(c) retires before the age of 50 years in accordance with the terms and conditions of his employment shall be entitled to make withdrawals. This includes those who have been fired from work or have recently lost their jobs. However, a period withdrawals can only be made after 6 months of loosing your job.
When I retiree or attain 50 years old how does the money get paid to me?
You can be paid in either of the following ways
(a) You withdraw money from your retirement savings account monthly or quarterly depending on your expected life span. For example, if you have N10million in your RSA and you expected to live for another 30years they divide the N10million by 360 months or 120 quarters.
(b) Through an annuity for life purchased from a life insurance company by the National Insurance Commission with monthly or quarterly payments
(c) You can also withdraw a lump sum amount provided the balance remaining is sufficient enough for you withdraw an amount not less than 50% of your annual remuneration as at the date you retired.
(d) As mentioned above, if you retired before 5o you can be paid 25% of the balance in your RSA provided that such withdrawals shall only be made six months after you retire and you do not secure another employment.
What happens when an employee dies?
This is captured under Section 5 of the Act. Where an employee dies, his entitlements under the life insurance policy maintained shall be paid to his retirement savings account.
The pension fund administrator shall apply the amount paid under his Life Insurance Policy in favour of the beneficiary under a will or the spouse and children of the deceased or in the absence of a wife and child, to the recorded next-of-kin or any person designated by him during his life time or in the absence of such designation, to any person appointed by the Probate Registry as the administrator of the estate of the deceased.
What happens when an employee is missing?
Where an employee is missing and is not found within a period of one year from the date he was declared missing, and a board of inquiry set up by the Commission concludes that it is reasonable to presume that he has died . Where it is confirmed or presumed that the employee is dead, the provision of section 5 of this Act shall apply (as above “what happens when an employee dies).
This article originally appeared on September 6th, 2013. It has now been updated to include new information.
Legit ways to make money with your phone
In today’s world, phones have become an asset, allowing one to do simple jobs that would have previously needed the use of computers.
One of the significant strongholds of technology advancement is the emergence of smartphones, which you can basically do anything on. The quality of smartphones has dramatically reduced the use of computers for basic tasks like browsing the internet or viewing a document. More importantly, jobs that would have otherwise be done on computers can be quickly done on mobile phones. This has made phones an asset, especially with the emergence of legit ways to make money with your phone from any location.
The fantastic thing about these jobs is the fact that they still allow you to keep your 9 to 5 job. You can smoothly run them on the side and get extra cash to pay your bills.
This article unveils seven legit ways to make money with your phone. Keep reading to learn about them, and choose the one that suits you best.
- Online tutor: Having a phone gives you direct access to the internet as well as online learning platforms that you can earn from. Are you good at something? Simply register on one of those platforms and offer your knowledge for a fee. These days, you do not even need a professional camera or studio. Instead, you can simply make a video with your phone’s camera, as far as it is decent enough. If your content is good, people will keep coming.
- Earn from YouTube: YouTube is one of the few social media platforms that pay the people using it. To benefit from this payment, all you need to do is open a channel and get people to watch your videos. Some of the videos that attract lots of views are comedy skits, fashion advice, how to do stuff, and even tutorials. Once again, as long as your phone has a good camera, you can simply make your video with it and expand as you earn. Many of these large YouTube channels started with mobile phones.
- Own your eCommerce business: eCommerce businesses is no longer as complicated as it once was. Today, all you need to start one is your mobile phone as there are platforms that offer everything else. Websites like eBay and Jiji simply allows you to take a picture of your good, upload it, and wait for interested customers to make a bid. You can sell anything on these apps, and the better rating and review you have, the more trust people would have in your product. All you need to start earning money is your phone and whatever you intend to sell.
- Freelance: Freelancing is basically offering your services on the internet for money. As long as you have a good internet connection and a decent phone, you are good to go. Jobs like writing, copywriting, and graphics designing can be easily done on a mobile phone. You can visit and register with popular freelance websites like fiver and Upwork to get started.
- Watching videos: Believe it or not, there are websites that pay you to watch videos. For most of them, it’s a larger scale of digital marketing, which you do not really have to get involved in. Simply stream a video, advert or clips, and get paid for doing so. One of the most common apps that do this is Swagbucks. They pay you for watching videos, shopping, and taking surveys, and offers different means through which you can redeem your payment. Swagbucks services are, however, restricted based on locations, as tasks to earn money are not readily available compared to other areas. Fronto is another popular app that offers the same services too.
(READ MORE: Budgeting on a fluctuating income)
- Taking paid surveys: Paid surveys is one of the easiest ways to make money with your phone. Like watching videos, taking paid surveys is part of a broader scope investigation that companies invest in to understand customers’ perspectives. They rate this so important that they are ready to pay you to complete surveys containing different questions. All you need to get started is your phone, and then open an account with the platform. Some of the websites that offer this are InboxDollars and Opinion space. The availability of surveys is based on your geo-locations.
- Virtual assistant: Although being a virtual assistant might hinder you from having a daily job, its pay is enough to cover your needs. As a virtual assistant, all you need to do is offer your services to individuals or companies with a lot of work to do. It could range from simple tasks using excel sheets to managing documents and compiling reports. Most of these works can be done on your phone. The difficult thing about virtual assistant jobs is that you would have to seek it like a regular job. You apply and go through recruitment processes like a regular job.
Although there are a ton of other money-making applications that you can earn from on your phone, most focus on some specific locations. The location favors those in Europe and the US and a little bit of Africa. However, the methods above are universal and work in Nigeria. You should try them out and start making money off your phone today.
Best ways to get free money with little or no effort
A good definition of free money with little or no effort is making money without a 9 to 5 job.
Being successful has always been the goal, and would always be, and a large chunk of it is often determined by how much money you have. This is why many seek both passive and active ways to make money and hold 9 to 5 jobs while making side investments. The best and most convenient way to make money is when you do so with little or no effort. Sounds too good to be true? Read on to find out the best ways to get free money with little or no effort.
A good definition of free money with little or no effort is making money without a 9 to 5 job. Working all day to make money is stressful and not what this article focuses on. With the right combination of skills and the processes listed below, you can make money and remain lazier than you would have been with a standard job. Here are some of the best ways to do this:
- Online sales: The emergence of e-commerce websites like Etsy means that you no longer have to go out there searching for customers. You can make a lot of money sitting at home by simply creating an account on the platform. The fantastic thing is that you do not even need to have the goods to sell stored in a warehouse somewhere. Instead, you can make a deal with store owners and put their products on your page. You can bargain commission on any product sales you make. That’s it, no much work, no investment, only profit.
- Drive people around: Believe it or not, driving is one of the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria. This holds especially for busy areas like Lagos, and you can make a lot of money by only driving people around. You would be shocked at how many people are willing to pay double or triple the regular fee to have the car all to themselves. An excellent example of this is uber driving. This is one of the ways that require little effort, just drive!
- Invest in high dividend stocks: To pull this off, you would need to invest a substantial sum. The plan is to invest in high dividend stocks and receive extra for it. Dividend stocks are when companies give shareholders additional stocks, which could be due to different reasons. Investing in one would see you earn more value in worth (which you can sell for profit) without literally doing anything. Simply wait and watch your investment bloom. However, understanding the stock market is very important, as a blind investment could see you lose a lot of money.
- Sell your photography: This process is simple. Just take pictures and sell them off on the internet. Picture giants like iStock and Shutterstock are always looking to purchase new images. Simply log in and follow their guidelines, as anyone can submit a photo to be included. When anyone downloads your photo, you get a commission. That’s all, simply take pictures and make a lot of money.
- Invest in real estate: Making money through real estate requires a large upfront investment, although it compensates with a large payout too. If you have the money, investing in real estate is one of the easiest ways to make free money with little or no effort. All you would need to do after investing is managing your property.
- Take online surveys and play video games: Sounds like the perfect life, right? It can actually be. Some sites would pay you to complete their surveys and play videogames for feedbacks. These data, so to say, are sold to research firms that are trying to understand consumer habits.
(READ MORE: Where to invest $10,000 right now)
- Open a high-interest savings account: This is another way to get free money by literally doing nothing order than paying a certain sum into your account. A high-interest savings account offers you greater interest compared to a regular savings account, as long as you leave your money for an agreed time. However, these accounts have a minimum opening balance that varies from one bank to another, and it’s usually not a small sum.
- Sell your old stuff: This is kind of straight forward. Do you have things that you no longer use? Simply put them up for sale on an e-commerce website. Selling them would see you kill two birds with a stone. This is because you would both declutter your home and make money in the process while doing nothing literally.
These are some of the best ways that you can make free money with little or no effort. They all work, therefore study them, and combine the methods that work best for you. With the right dedication, you can start making money in a day or two by only doing the barest minimum.
Top 10 financial planning tips for newlyweds
Here are the basic steps to take to help you set your post-wedding finances on the right track as a couple.
Financial problems are a major contributor of divorce by 36.7% according to Shelby B. Scott’s research. Before you work down the aisle, it is important to have a conversation around your finances. Start with the financial aspect of planning a wedding. Every female’s dream is to have a fairy tale wedding, but it is to the detriment of your finances, for those who cannot afford it.
Though your dream wedding can be achievable when planned and budgeted wisely, a lot of couples still make the mistake of spending money on extraneous things just to have a big and a fairy tale wedding, without having an upright plan for their future.
No wedding has won an Oscar award for being the biggest and no matter how glamorous your big day is, another person’s wedding will surpass it. Furthermore, taking a loan for a wedding is one of the financial mistakes some people make. They take a loan to impress people and end up starting their union on debts. It is important for one to cut down on expenses as weddings are mere events, while marriages are the main journey.
Congratulations! Your wedding was successful, you are ready to embrace each other’s outstanding qualities, unconditionally accept each other’s plight, and set plans on how to manage your finances to have a blissful union.
Here are the basic steps to take to help you set your post-wedding finances on the right track as a couple.
Have money discussions
Before you walk down the aisle and commit to spending the rest of your lives together, you need to talk about how you will be spending your money as a couple. A lot of people are married but unhappy and the cause has to do with financial dilemmas.
Money has a huge role to play when it comes to having a happy and healthy union, so couples should dedicate time to discuss how they are going to manage their finances to avoid having money problems. An example is having a discussion around your salaries, savings, debts, spending habits and also discuss if you both want to merge your bank accounts or have a separate account.
Be honest with your finance
Honesty has to do with having an open and honest discussion about your financials – both past and future, and it is vital to your financial success as a couple. Everyone has their own money habits, which have been shaped by their past experiences. Approaching money issues honestly and openly gives you a much better chance at having a strong, healthy financial relationship.
Make commitments to each other
No one cares more about your financial security than the two of you. Make a promise to each other to take joint responsibility and take steps to better your overall financial position by paying down debts, establishing a savings habit and investing in viable investment source for healthy long-term returns.
Have a budget
Setting financial goals together should be your top priority. It is important that the goals are specific and achievable. Set goals that are equally rewarding, so that you both will be motivated to achieve them. Depend on each other for support and encourage one another to stay focused.
Financial goals need budgets, as it enables you to manage your finances. Set a budget on your variables and fixed expenses. Review your budget regularly to identify problem areas. When you encounter challenges, try not to get discouraged and adjust as often as needed to ensure financial success.
Embrace your differences
The most important money move you can make for your relationship is to embrace your differences. Understand that you cannot change feelings created by a lifetime of experience; instead, try to nurture the positive aspects of each of your lifestyles. There is no one “right” way to handle your finances, so managing your money styles may be the perfect solution.
Here are 10 quick tips for planning together
- Set priorities and specific goals and discuss them. Do not assume you both have the same goals without discussing them.
- Discuss values. Sometimes different values make goal-setting difficult. An example is when one person wants to spend now and one wants to save for later, it can be a source of disagreement. The same is true when one spouse tends to be less risk-oriented than the other about investments.
- Plan in five-year units. When planning for five-year blocks, you can set both intermediate and long-range goals without feeling you are being deprived forever.
- Budget together. Set up a manageable system for your cash flow together.
- Know where your money is going. Keep records of your spending.
- Do not assume that because you are both working, that you have a lot more to spend.
- Save regularly (emergency funds). Set up a savings account in both of your names and either set up an automatic transfer through your online bank app or take turns putting money into the account monthly.
- Ensure you evaluate insurance. Getting insured is a vital part of adulthood, especially as a couple. Discuss the best insurance plan to go for.
- Sit down together and discuss finances at least once a month.
- Consider how many kids you want. This will help you come up with at least an early-stage financial plan.
Some of the best marriage advice you can follow is to always be honest about your debts, income, and budgeting history. Marriage finances are a tricky topic, but it’s important that you discuss them regularly with your partner.