As in any other country in the world, there are certain regulations for the retirement age in Nigeria. People who work for many years have a right to retire at a certain age and receive their deserved benefits.
The labor and pension law in Nigeria
All the countries in the world who provide their citizens with an official employment have a number of rules and laws that regulate employment age, conditions, wages, and so on. There are such laws in Nigeria, too.
For instance, such laws regulate the age when people can start working (to prevent illegal child labor), the conditions in which people can work safely and effectively, and the age when they can retire. While receiving regular wages in the course of working, retirees are given regular amounts after they retire.
In accordance with the National Labor Law put into action in 2004 and the most recent Pension Reform Act, there are special bodies that calculate pensions, give them out to their owners, and also establish diverse age limits for retirement in different professions.
The latter depends mostly on the working conditions, peculiarities of each certain profession, and the particular area where this or that profession belongs. Lately, there has been a lot of talking about the best age limits for the retirement of teachers, for example, as they want an increase to their pension age up to 65 or 70 years.
Now, let’s take a look at the age limits established for retirement from different professions in Nigeria.
Retirement age of professions in Nigeria
- When professors retire
In accordance with the Nigerian Senate decision (2012), university professors can retire when they turn seventy (70). It doesn’t depend on the number of ages served in the profession. As well, the retirement age is the same for college professors and the ones in polytechnics. The law works for both the researching and lecturing professors.
- When other academic and non-academic staff retires
In tertiary institutions, all those who are below a professor by their academic rank retire when they turn sixty-five (65) or when they have worked for full 35 years at their position. This works for all the existing Nigerian universities, all the colleges and each and every polytechnics in the country.
- When teachers retire
Teachers who have been employed in primary or secondary schools retire when they are sixty (60). As it has been mentioned above, teachers have already demanded an increase in the retirement age from the government.
However, it looks like there are no working mechanisms to do so and no grounds to predict that their demand will be brought to life by the authorities.
- When judges retire
All the judges in Nigeria, no matter whether they have been working in the Supreme Court of Nigeria or any other minor courts are supposed to retire at the moment they turn seventy (70) and it doesn’t matter how much they have served.
In general, there’s a regulation for all the current workers of Nigerian public services to retire when they become sixty (60) or after 35 years of devoted service but it has stopped working for Nigerian judges after an amendment was accepted in 2015.
- When other members of the judicial staff retire
In accordance with the regulations taken especially for the workers of public service, all the court employees (judicial officers) are supposed to retire when they either complete 35 years of working in the Nigerian public services or when they turn sixty (60).
- When military officers retire
Initially, Nigerian military officers have been supposed to retire when they turned fifty-two (52). This was much earlier than many other workers and servants in the country. Now, the official retirement age for the military officers in Nigeria has been reviewed and the retirement age for them has been increased to sixty-two (62). The review will be brought into effect at any moment.
- When medical consultants retire (in federal facilities)
Not only medical consultants but also all the employees in federal medical facilities are supposed to retire in accordance with the general rule for public service workers. So, these workers will retire after the completion of 35 years of public services or when they turn sixty (60).
- When medical consultants retire (in the teaching hospitals at universities)
The consultants in the teaching hospitals are supposed to retire in accordance with the laws that have been established for university or college professors. That is, the consultants who are employed in teaching hospitals are about to retire at the moment they turn seventy (70), regardless of the length of their experience in the public services.
- When pilots retire
The pilots who are engaged in the civil aviation in Nigeria are supposed to retire when they become sixty-two (62). It happens regardless of the length of their experience. Though they are civil service workers, they are not under the effect of the general regulation for the employees of this sphere.
- When other aviation staff members retire
Other aviation staff members (all those except the pilots) are supposed to retire as other civil service employees. That is, they can quit working when they get sixty (60) or after 35 years of their service.
- When NNPC workers retire
As any other representatives of the public services, NNPC employees in Nigeria retire when they turn sixty (60) or after 35 complete years of working in the sphere.
- When police officers, civil defense, and security officers retire
In Nigeria, police officers retire at the same age with all other employees of civil service, at the moment when they turn sixty (60) or after 35 full years of being employed in the area.
However, if we speak about the civil defense and security officers, there are no regulations that would determine the limit of age for the retirement of these employees. This is not about these services alone but about all the existing paramilitary bodies in Nigeria.
- When prison service officers retire
These workers are members of the civil service body, so they retire as all other representatives of this sphere, after 35 years of service or at the age of sixty (60).
- When fire rescue officers retire
In compliance with the Fire Service Act, firefighters in Nigeria can retire after the completion of 25 years of service, or when they turn forty-five (45).
- When employees in the private sector retire
There’s no general regulation that would determine the age when private sector workers should retire. Everything depends on the employers and the way the company evaluates a certain member of the staff from the point of view of the company’s development. For instance, a valuable employee can stay employed until he or she becomes sixty or even seventy.
The employees themselves may be interested in staying in their positions for as long as they can to receive salaries instead of the pensions paid by the private companies. This is why they often choose to occupy their positions as long as they can without retirement.
Things to know about retirement and retirement age in Nigeria
You can retire as you wish even if you are younger than the official limit of age for the retirement from your profession established in Nigeria. You can also retire after you have completed a certain number of years of being employed in the area. Some professions allow this step.
The Pension Reform Act in Nigeria declares that all people should receive pension payments after the moment of their retirement. However, if a person has been employed by a private company, the pension benefits come in the form of regular amounts the company decides to pay to this person, depending on his or her value for the particular company.
This is why many people at their seniority age choose to have accounts where they can save some money to survive during their retirement age.