It is now possible to get significant amount of pension savings if you retire prematurely on health grounds.

According to the National Pension Commission, PenCom, no fewer than 320 workers, who were certified by medical practitioners to have health challenges under the Contributory Pension Scheme, have been allowed to withdraw lump sums from their Retirement Savings Accounts with their Pension Fund Administrators.

Information obtained from the National Pension Commission revealed that the affected workers, who were not up to 50 years when they left paid employment due to deteriorating health, were given the rare privilege strictly on health grounds.

The Pension Reform Act 2014 did stipulate that contributors can withdraw part of their pension savings if they lose their jobs and are unable to get another job after four months; or if they retire from work and are up to the age of 50.

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For workers who lose their jobs, the law allows them to withdraw 25% of the balance in their RSA.

But for those who reached the retirement age of 50 and are no longer in paid employment, they will be given 25% lump sum and be placed on monthly pensions or be given outright all their savings if the money is less than 550,000-naira.

However, PenCom confirmed to Punch that workers not up to 50 years could also either get all their pension savings or start earning monthly stipends on medical grounds.

The commission explained that the retirement benefits on medical/health grounds related to the benefits of those who retired from employment on medical grounds as certified by qualified physicians or medical board.

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