LASPEC Tasks Prospective Retirees On Early Documentation
The Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC), has urged prospective Retirees in the State Civil Service to begin documentation towards their exit from service at least six months to their statutory dates of retirement. The Director-General, LASPEC, Mr. Babalola Obilana gave the advice recently during the virtual 18th Retirement Benefit Documentation Seminar organised by the Commission for prospective government officials due to retire between June and December 2020. While noting that the virtual seminar was put together to guide and assist the prospective retirees' exit smoothly from active service, Obilana said that early documentation, as stipulated by law, would enable prompt payment of their entitlements after retirement and will reduce unnecessary hardship faced by some retirees. Obilana, represented by Mr. Olumuyiwa Oshin, Executive Director, Finance and Investment, LASPEC, said the essence of the programme is to educate intending retirees on the documentation requirements. In his words, "Six months to retirement is the best time for prospective retirees to start putting their papers together. If you leave everything to the last minute, the likelihood of you being paid on time is slim", he said. He, therefore, advised all prospective retirees to ensure that the benefits derivable for their services under the 'Pay As You Go' scheme, which was discontinued on May 31, 2007, are computed and credited into their Retirement Savings Account (RSA). The Director-General asserted that where the retirees opted for programmed withdrawal or annuity, depending on their peculiarity under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), early documentation would enhance prompt payment of their lump sum and monthly pension. "Having spent a significant amount of your productive years working for the State government, it is imperative that your transition to retirement should be seamless", he stated. Obilana also lauded Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the Commissioner for Establishment, Training and Pensions, Mrs. Ajibola Ponnle for the prompt remittance of monthly pension and accrued rights of retirees as well as the funding and support given to the Commission. Also speaking during the virtual meeting, Mr. Babatunde Yusuff, Director, Information and 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 inquiries. Yusuff noted that the era of physical or manual documentation was already fading out, especially with the reality of COVID-19 and the government's recommendations on physical distancing. He implored the retirees to "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 webinar channels". In his own contribution, Mr. Adewale Soetan, Deputy Director, Finance and Investment department, LASPEC, also advised the prospective retirees to reduce their expenditure as they plan for retirement because the salaries and fringe benefits will no longer be available. Soetan urged the intending retirees to avoid investing their lump sum on risky ventures but rather invest in productive assets, saying "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”. "Retirees must also cancel any form of credit card, social expenses and must not borrow against their monthly pensions or engage in government contracts that has no cash backing", he added. Also speaking at the online session, Mrs. Taiwo Oluremi, a prospective retiree commended LASPEC for its efforts at organising the seminar and urged the Commission to ensure that bond certificates were ready for pick up promptly.