While we are planning for life, it is also important that we plan for death. You have done yourself a great deal either by virtue of your employment in a corporate organization or as a personal decision to contribute in the country’s Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), backed by the Pension Reform Act 2004.
If as expected, you live till the end of your working career, you will have access to your pension fund, which is managed by your Pension Fund Administrator (PFA), but if the unexpected happens, that is, death, it means your beneficiaries would be given the balance standing in your Retirement Savings Account (RSA).
Disbursing this amount to the beneficiary will run into hitches if you did not procure a will, which should specify who are or who should be given the money and at what percentage to each beneficiary.
This is a major problem the PFAs are facing in implementing this session of the Act, as many of the dead contributors did not purchase Will for their estate.
“Where an employee dies, his entitlements under the life insurance policy maintained under subsection (3) of section 9 of this Act shall be paid to his retirement savings account. The PFA shall apply the amount paid under subsection (1) of this section in accordance with section 4 of this Act 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.”
Dave Uduanu, chairman, Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp) said it will help PFAs if contributors can procure will while working so that disbursement of their pension entitlements to beneficiaries can be without issues.
“We wish to serve our customers well, and that is why we give these advices,
Rotimi Edu, a Lagos Lawyer and Insurance practitioner stated recently that only one per cent of urban literate Nigerians write Will, out of which 90 per cent of them are over 60 years.
Edu noted that writing of Will was germane to peaceful transfer of wealth from parents towards or children and other beneficiaries, but had been grossly under utilised due to some noxious traditional beliefs that must be discarded. He lamented that transference of wealth had generally been a problematic issue in the African society, due to the reticence of many towards writing of Will and its administration.
Edu knocked the bottom off the popularly held notion that only the affluent needed write Will, stressing that anyone above the age of 40 years must accord the posthumous instrument premium attention.
“It is always advisable not to die intestate, given the fact that obtaining a probate document for such individuals are quite cumbersome with its attendant discomforts and delays” Edu asserted