More and more Nigerians are waking up to the need to save for the rainy day as indicated by the trends in the number of people signing up for various pension plans in Nigeria.

According to the August edition of the Pension Assets Summary from the National Pension Commission (PenCom) 8,243,541 were known to be participating in one form of pension or the other. This represents an increase of 1.32% over the numbers in Q2 2018. The additional 107,339 registrants now brings the total of newly registered contributors to 216,113 since the end of March 2018.

Age distribution analysis shows that contributors in the age bracket of 30-39 continue to be the highest category with 36.87%, followed by those in the 40-49 and 50-59 age group with 27.66% and 17.91% respectively.

Bua group

One discernable but concerning observation is that enrollments seem to be gathering more momentum with those aged 40-49. In August and July for example, 32,706 more people aged 40-49 registered, while about 18,400 each of those aged less than 30 and 30-39 became new registrants. Since April 2018, 62,518 or 29% of newly registered participants fall into the 40-49 age grade, while those in younger age grades garnered about 39,000 new registrations on the average.

The insinuation from the above trend is that Nigerians do not start early to contribute to pension funds or that younger Nigerians aged less than 39 are grossly unemployed. If the first assumption or situation is correct, it means that many people may not be able to save enough for retirement when the time comes because the principle of compounding teaches that the earlier you start to save and the longer you save the more you are bound to accumulate in the end, other things being equal.

Another school of thought is that some of those within the age group of 40-49 are registering in their drive to catch up on missed opportunities. That sounds like a reasonable thinking why that age group consistently outperform others in terms of the number of new participants. Whatever the reason, young Nigerians should do themselves a favour and start saving for retirement from the gate go. I made that mistake because I was not as informed and today I am paying dearly for it. Do not make the mistakes some of us made, cut today’s luxury for tomorrows comfort.

Register and begin to save for your retirement today!

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