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Career tips

Everything you should know about the Retirement Savings Account

The Retirement Savings Accounts are powerful accumulators of compounded investment returns because they have a tax-exempt advantage for cash contributions and investment returns.

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Retirement Savings Account

In 2004, the Federal Government passed the Pension Reform Act. It was an act that changed how occupational benefits were designed and offered to employees by employers.

Before the passage of the Pension Reform Act, employers were solely responsible for occupational pensions and made a “Defined Benefit” promise to their employees. They promised to pay to employees a defined monetary sum as a pension. This final defined sum was typically calculated by how long an employee had worked and what was earned at retirement.

The new Contributory Pension Scheme is very different. This is because the responsibility of the employer is scaled back. The Employer is no longer required to provide a defined predetermined benefit, but simply to make a contribution to an account opened in the name of the employees.

Defined Benefit to Defined Contribution

The pension system changed from being a defined benefit to a defined contribution scheme. As a result, the only expectation of an employer is to contribute to the account of his employee. The amount the employee will receive upon retirement is now a function of the compounded investment returns delivered by the asset manager called a Pension Fund Administrator.

[Read Also: NSE lifts suspension on Royal Exchange]

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The Retirement Savings Account

The key difference between both schemes has been the introduction of Retirement Savings Accounts. This is typically opened in the personal name of the employee, aka the contributor. Every contributor in the pension scheme buys units in Mutual Funds created by the Pension Fund Administrators and as such, can make Additional Voluntary Contributions outside those made by his/her employer.

The Retirement Savings Accounts are powerful accumulators of compounded investment returns because they have a tax-exempt advantage for cash contributions and investment returns. The fact that mandatory funds in Retirement Savings Accounts cannot be withdrawn at will, helps to create a compounding stream of income unimpeded by tax deductions.

You Need a Retirement Plan

The most important financial plan you can have and should have is a retirement plan. Your retirement plan is even more important than your child’s education plan.

Now, when you do decide to get a Retirement Savings Account, you the employee should be responsible for the following:

  1. Selecting a Pension Fund Administrator
  2. Making an 8% contribution to your Retirement account
  3. Ensuring your employer matches your contributions with a 10% contribution to your retirement account
  4. Making regular Additional Voluntary Contributions to your account.

Planning Your Retirement

The time to plan for retirement is when you are 20 and just starting to earn income. Remember, your retirement is a financial event that can happen when your passive income can cover your non-discretionary income.

[Read Also: Millennials’ silence towards pension is a great concern]

Therefore, how do you plan towards that? First, determine your Work Life Expectancy WLE. Your Work Life Expectancy is the period of time you expect to be in the workforce. Take for example: if you are 30 years old and you expect to retire at age 65, your WLE is 35. WLE is important as it signifies how long you have to accumulate and save in your RSA towards retirement.

The next thing to determine is your Retirement Life Expectancy RLE. The RLE is the time from retirement till death. Thus, we have three stages, the Pre WLE, the WLE, and the RLE. You only earn during the WLE period. This is the period you accumulate and invest your earnings. What you earn and save during your WLE should fund your consumption in your RLE period. If you don’t save during your WLE period, you expose your RLE period to peril.

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Retirement should now equate as the period when your passive income can fund your RLE. The earlier you save during your WLE is very important and it has a huge impact on your final return.

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See a schedule that costs out delays in investing for your retirement.  In this example, the WLE is 65. If the client invests N200 per month at 7% when he is aged 20 years, he will have N239,000 in 45 years.

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If the same client invests N200 per month at 7% when he is aged 35 years, he will have N82,000 in 45 years. Thus a delay in starting to invest for retirement for 15 years, costs the client N157,000. Specifically, if you don’t have a Retirement Saving Account, open one today and start contributing.

[Read Also: Pension fund administrators pile up cash in anticipation of withdrawals]

A successful retirement plan is based on a successful investment plan, and a successful investment plan is based on early, steady, retirement savings over time, and the earning on those contributions.

So a retirement plan is based on first a calculation of how much you suppose you will need in your RLE period. When you get this figure, you then determine what to save during your WLE period so you walk backwards. Eg you are aged 30, you want to retire when you are 60 years old, this means your WLE is 30. You determine your RLE is 30 years. You also determine you need N1 million a year in retirement for your 30 years (RLE), thus your expected spend during retirement is N1 million x 30 years or N30 million.

The question, therefore, becomes about how much we should accumulate in 30 years so that we can buy an investment that pays you N1 million a year for 30 years. Assume interest rate of 7%. To solve this, we calculate what is called the Present Value of an Annuity and the answer is N 12.4 million. So during the client’s 30 years WLE, he has to accumulate N12.4m in saving by age 60. It is this N12.4 million that will be used to buy an annuity.

What is an Annuity?

An annuity is basically a fixed sum of money paid over the lifetime of a person, in consideration of a lump sum paid by the person. In effect, you give the Insurance or Pension company a bulk sum of money, they commit to paying you a fixed sum every month, quarter, or year for the rest of your life.

Remember that the RSA is a pay increase, as long as your employer matches you and contributes the mandatory 10%, you are receiving a 10% salary increase.

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How to Maximize the Retirement Savings Account?

  1. First, ensure mandatory contributions are made every month. Contributions and Investments returns are tax-free. Regular contributions compound longer and thus provide a larger return.
  2. All contribution and investment income earned made to a Retirement Savings Account are tax-free. This means if you make Additional Voluntary Contributions to your Retirement Savings Account you effectively reduce your Income Tax burden.
  3. Use Additional Voluntary contributions as a “catch up” mechanism, if you are behind in your retirement saving, contribute more in bulk to your RSA via the AVC window.

[Read Also: Nigeria’s pension contributors add N186.43 billion to pension asset]

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Julius

    May 27, 2019 at 7:34 am

    Nice one.
    Next topic :
    Additional Voluntary Contributions
    Pls

  2. Anonymous

    May 27, 2019 at 8:11 am

    Beautiful and educative write up. I cannot thank you enough. God bless you real good.

  3. Chinedu

    May 28, 2019 at 11:10 pm

    Can a self employed person open retirement savings account

  4. Olayide

    June 6, 2019 at 9:41 am

    This is theoretically okay, but very different from the operation in the Nigerian Pension Industry. I think the writer should research more on the laws governing the withdrawal modalities, options and their calculation in the current pension set up to present a more balanced perspective to this article.

  5. Jude

    August 31, 2019 at 6:49 am

    This piece is priceless. Thanks a lot

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Career tips

7 key ways women can effectively build a professional career while running a family

Juggling between work and family life has been one challenge faced by many women.

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7 key ways women can effectively build a professional career while running a family

According to the World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially recognized sources, women make up 44.94% of labour force in Nigeria as at 2019. It can be estimated that more than half of this number of working women are wives and mothers. This is quite impressive and shows an appreciable increase in the number of working women and working mothers to compared to what was seen two decades ago.  However. The rise in the number of working women and mothers also increased some of the problems working wives/mothers faced both at home and at work. In fact, some of these problems remain largely unattended to in the Nigerian society.

In our world today, especially in the corporate world, where competitive nature is prevalent, a lot of women have risen career-wise and have carved a niche for themselves. Some of the career choices they made has put so many of them in a state of dilemma. i.e. juggling between their work as well as their family life, thereby making it difficult for them to strike a balance.

READ: 10 side businesses to sustain your professional career

In addition, many husbands, especially in Nigeria where patriarchy is strong do not support the idea of their wives working. A few who buy the idea, do so grudgingly, thereby, not offering their full support and cooperation to their wives.  This, however, has made a lot of relationships suffer.

Contrary to the above, many men give their wives full consent to work, pursue their dreams and professions. In Nigeria, there is an indication that most working mothers/wives are working not just for self-fulfilment but also to supplement their husband’s income in the face of persistent inflation and to assist their spouse financially.

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A lot of people find it difficult balancing the strike i.e. their career and family, leading to some having to quit their jobs. Nevertheless, there are some women who, over the years were able to balance their professional careers with that of their family, and these women have become source of inspiration to so many women finding it difficult to strike the balance. And they are the likes of Oby Ezekwesili, Folorunso Alakija, Aisha Ahmed, Ibukun Awosika, Toyin Sanni, Ebelechukwu Nwachukwu and so many other women striving in their area of specialization.

READ: President Buhari approves N13.3 billion for Community Policing in Nigeria

According to Mrs. Ebelechukwu Nwachukwu (MD/CEO, NSIA Insurance Company Limited) in an exclusive interview with the Amazons Watch Magazine editorial team, she said that “balancing work with family life is quiet challenging to achieve but is very achievable. I think women more than men need to realize that it is essential to start early to focus on a desired career and we need to stay the course when marriage and children come. We do not have time to play around or to waste, and we must stay motivated and not burn out. Women, by starting early would already have set a pace, before family life comes in. Even when you don’t start early; women must realize that many times, we need to do more. We must stay the course”

According to Ibukun Awosika (Chairman Firstbank Nigeria) “In life, you decide on those things that are important to you, because as a woman I have all my visions and dreams and I want to achieve them. I want to also be a successful mother to my children and I want to be a successful wife to my husband; once I am able to balance it up, it will make a successful home. All we need is understanding. And we need a balanced home to have the right atmosphere. I also apply wisdom most of the time because the day my children matter most to me, I create time for them. The day it is my husband that matters, I create the time. The same goes for my work. If not, everything will crumble and that is why I need to measure the percentage of attention I give to them and that is why I can’t advise another woman on how to run her family because it is your circumstances that determine your kind of action; my home is different from any other home. I am happy to be married to the best man.”

READ: Women and unemployment in Nigeria: How government and stakeholders can bridge the gap

Here are the 7 ways to help make sure both your career and your family flourish:

Having a supportive spouse is key to balance

Having a supportive spouse is key to balancing your career and family because he will assist in the responsibilities of taking care of the family. Having a supportive spouse will enable you reach your career height. They go as far as being supportive of their pursuits to seek higher education thereby supporting them financially, morally, emotionally and otherwise.

Though at times some when overwhelmed might grumble about a woman’s dedication to her job, however, as a woman the best way to resolve this concern is by being diplomatic. Nevertheless, when your spouse is being supportive, it is still imperative to give them top priority and also tend to their needs.

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Planning and time management is crucial

Good planning and time management are crucial to balancing career and family. A lot of people are faced with the challenges of taking care of their young children/ pursuing their careers. Some will plan it in a way that they will pursue postgraduate degrees or career advancement when their children are older.

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Also, when planning and managing time, figure out your family’s priorities. Have a calendar that includes dates when bills are due, a list of school and family events, extracurricular activities, birthdays, and more. It is always recommended to use a Google calendar, which can be easily shared and synced on smartphones. Set aside 15 minutes each Sunday to review and prepare for the upcoming week’s schedule. This helps eliminate surprises during the week. Also, have a time put in place to take care of yourself by going to a spa and exercising (like a yoga class). Remember to eat well and get enough rest. These are simple things a lot of working mothers/wives’ neglect.

Be focus and work hard

This is specifically true for women who want to compete for leadership positions and elevate higher in their careers. For you to get to that position you have to be focused and work so hard to avoid your gender being a hindrance to your success. There is often pressure from employers on women to convince them that their loyalties lie at work and not at home, since working mothers might not be able to afford to spend extra hours doing overtime or other work-related activities which can jeopardize their family. The best way to meet up with all the expectations is to be focused and work super hard. Multitasking will aid you to achieve your goals. Avoid time-wasting, casual internet browsing, gossiping, and long lunches. All these things cause distractions and make you less productive.

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Hire a good house help/nanny  

When trying to balance a professional career with family, it is advisable to hire someone that will take care of your children. You may decide to employ a house help/nanny or even invite a family member, like your mother/mother-in-law to come around and take care of your kid(s).

When hiring a help/nanny it is always imperative to do a background check of the person you are bringing inside your home so you wouldn’t end up creating a problem for yourself and for your family. Go for someone that has excellent experience and is adaptable to kids of various age range; caring for newborns and older children who need homework help.

The house help could cover the necessary functions, such as cooking, laundry, cleaning, and taking care of the children while both parents are at work. It is imperative to show your house help love so they can reciprocate and take good care of your children when you are at work.

Find quality creche for you kids

Using a Creche (for toddlers) is a good way of balancing your work and family for those that do not want to hire a nanny/house-help. There are some inexpensive schools you can enroll your kids, where they will receive proper care. Having them enroll in Creche will give you ample time to focus on your job and grow your career. You and your spouse can reshuffle on how you both can go for school runs. Choosing a Creche is not something you carelessly pick out and move on, the reason being that leaving your child in the care of others is a major act and needs your utmost attention. Before choosing a Creche it is important to take note of their services and leave room for evaluation to be sure they are in good hands.

Go for online courses

Getting an education is very important to a lot of women as it enables them to achieve higher leadership positions. Having a successful career has to do with furthering your education, whether through degrees or certifications.

For this to be feasible, since you are trying to balance your career and that of your family, it is advisable to venture into online professional courses/online Master/PHD courses. Going into online courses will give you sufficient time to take care of your family and also aid in self-development which is a good ladder to enable you climb faster in your career.

Create a family time

Making time for your kids is crucial, both during the week and on the weekends, to nurture your family dynamic and allow everyone to bond. Always create family time, like having a family breakfast and family weekend. The family weekend covers going to the movies/amusement parks.  When you are having family time, avoid talking about work or checking your phone. Instead, focus on your kids’ interests by asking questions about their friends, classes, and hobbies. With older children, ask for their activity suggestions and try to meet their needs.

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Get relevant economic and financial data on Nairalytics

In conclusion, being a full-time working mother can lead to feelings of guilt and stress because of divided attention between work and family. The key is to be focus on a plan, get organized, and find the right balance between profession and parenthood.

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Career tips

Great tips for landing a job during this lockdown

The coronavirus pandemic has had its impact on job opportunities, but here are some tips for landing jobs.

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Some tips for landing a job during this lockdown

The economic lockdown and movement restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic has had an impact on job opportunities. Some of them could be in the form of job losses, getting new jobs, or even changing the way we work.

Given the unemployment numbers especially in these challenging times, it might be hard not to be apprehensive.

According to a report from Bloomberg, Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst for personal finance website Bankrate.com, said, “It’s important to remember that there is hiring happening. There’s always attrition and individuals leaving for other jobs.”

Robin Ryan, a career counsellor, said that just a few unemployed people are job hunting at the moment. Most believe that there are no jobs, they can’t be hired, or that only lower-level jobs are available.

Here are some tips for landing jobs during this lockdown.

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Beat the system: Make a list of your recent jobs and your top accomplishments at each of them. Those are the items that should be on your résumé. To get past automated applicant vetting systems, enter your work tasks—budgeting, project management, graphic design, team leadership, etc.—in the first bullet point under each job. Don’t include extraneous formatting, such as text boxes, tables, footers, or headers, because application software can’t recognize it.

(READ MORE:Skills Africa needs for sustainable development)

Assess your prospects: You have to find out if the opportunities in your industry are shrinking. According to Hamrick, “many people fail to see that their skills might apply to a variety of settings.” Consider some of the sectors that have stayed open in the lockdown—finance, real estate, food and other consumer goods, technology, and retail, plus suppliers and distributors for each. If that exercise doesn’t yield much, think about how your skills might help companies sharpen their online business. “There’s a need for people to help facilitate digital transformation,” Hamrick says.

Some tips for landing a job during this lockdown

Hit up recruiters (Recruiting agency firms): Let them help you with your resume and offer suggestions about things you might do to stand out.

Use your resources: Companies are filling positions needed to support virtual workers as part of their pandemic strategies. Many company websites might not yet reflect these changes, so try popular online job search websites, type in a company and your city, and you’ll get a better sense of what kind of hiring is going on.

Network: That friend-of-a-friend who previously ignored you. He’s home now and might be up for a quick Zoom coffee date. Connect with everyone you know in your field. (LinkedIn is good for this.). Those connections build on each other. You can ask mutual acquaintances to introduce you to people who can help and once that happens, you can fix a virtual coffee date. If that goes well, ask for an introduction to a hiring manager or supervisor. You’ve got nothing to lose.

 

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Career tips

Millennials changing the definition of work; doing the most with freelancing

Given the numerous number of changes in today’s world, millennials are gradually changing the definition of work, and beginning to embrace freelancing.

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Millenials, Freelancing

Given the numerous changes in today’s world, millennials are beginning to embrace freelancing. It is not just about thinking outside the 9-5 work hours, they are gradually changing the definition of work. This signals a new relationship between the worker and the economy; it is not just where they are working. It is what they are working for.

Millennials do not see companies as salary machines and do not also see themselves as ‘another chair-filler’. They actually see themselves as having the power to make choices, and their decision to work in one place or another is about finding value, not just the luxurious life attached to a conventional job.

[READ ALSO: Nigerian Millennials have figured where to invest their money]

How Millennials make the most of freelancing

Skills over degree

Nearly half of millennials have tried freelancing, and nearly three-quarters of freelancers say it is getting easier to find work. Most millennials begin their journey into freelancing by discovering their passion and finessing their skills in order to look unique. They often find time to develop themselves outside the scope of their disciplines by attributing more values to skill acquisition than conventional degrees. With unique skills like photography, graphic design, content creation, etc. millennials are able to make enough money to pay their bills and afford their lifestyles.

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Working Remotely

Millennials are taking advantage of working remotely. Working remotely affords millennials the much-needed flexibility they need in their daily routines. Working remotely also helps improve the productivity of millennials, unlike conventional workers. This way, they are free from distractions that cannot be taken care of. It is amazing that working remotely can have millennials working straight for 8 hours without thinking of food or break.

READ ALSO: Tech Startups should emulate Konga – EX Unilag VC

Gigs rather than restrictive job functions

Millennials use freelancing as an opportunity to harness their creative abilities rather than focusing on restrictive job functions. Millennials get certain jobs called side gigs which can help them explore their creativity. They figure out who their clients really are and what they want from them. More importantly, is that millennials find an untapped market and then quickly build a huge customer base on it which will be making enough cash in short notice.

Networking for Growth

Gone are the days when business cards were fashionable. This is because people do not really remember business cards. Millennials use networking as a way of getting to know the persons behind the business. They look for a spark in any conversation that a relationship can be built upon. Also, through the use of social media platforms, millennials are also able to collaborate to ensure the growth of the freelance economy.

Millenials, Freelancing

[READ ALSO: Millennials are becoming parents and school fees are getting more expensive]

Conclusion

Finding a freelance platform that affords skilled professionals flexibility and opportunities to grow is a concern for millennials. TERAWORK is a highly recommended freelancing platform that provides freelancers with an opportunity to work on flexible schedules, get rid of the daily commute process and have a perfect balance between work and professional life; not only because it affords local and international millennials opportunities to harness their skills, but the platform also allows these skilled individuals to showcase their past work experience and provide them with the access to new jobs every day.

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