Nigerian Millennials And Pensions: The Dire Travails Of A Slowly Cooked Meal In A Fast Food World

Nicholas Olatunji, fondly called “Nico Dubai” by his friends and clients is a 31-year -old fashion designer based in Abuja. He makes a monthly earning of about N150, 000 but also get returns as high as N350,000 during peak months like the November and December festive periods. He enjoys shopping, parties, and going to concerts. Despite his occasional frivolous spending, Nicholas is always looking for means to invest money but a retirement savings account is not on his radar. “I am looking for ways to make quick returns, 2 years or 5 years at most. Not sure I have the patience to wait till I’m in my sixties before I start enjoying my money.” 

On the flip side, Jennifer Obi, a 24-year-old brand manager with an advertising agency in Lagos who earns N150,000 monthly has a retirement savings account provided by her company but still doubts its usefulness. “My dad was adamant I get a job with a company that offered pension benefits but on a lowkey, I’d rather be spending that money every month. What if I port to Canada soon? Then what happens to the money?”

All over the country, millennials mirror the thoughts of Nicholas and Jennifer: 

“I Kinda hope when I retire my kids will take care of my finances.”

“Mehnn, I’m all about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency right now. That is the future”

“Isn’t pension for old government workers?”

“I hope I’ll hammer before I get old, though I don’t know how but I don’t need pensions for that”

In short, na who pension don epp sef?

The common idea that seems to cut across most of the replies and feedbacks is the notion that pensions is outdated and boring. Many millennials grew up seeing old pensioners on the news begging the government to release their funds, many know pensioners who are living hand to mouth, and asides this stark reality, there is a lot of misinformation about pensions being spread around. 

In a world where memes go viral in minutes, tweets catapult people to stardom in hours, and new methods to become a millionaire overnight keep springing up, Pension Fund Administrators sure have their work cut out for them. It’s up to pension service providers to package pension in a way that appeals to a generation that wants to get everything fast. A way that seemingly says “Let’s give you something that won’t last for a day but a lifetime.” There should be an increase in conversations centered on dispelling the doubts and fears that surround pensions.

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