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  • Writer's pictureDamilola Agubata

Pension vs. Gratuity in Nigeria: What's the Difference?

Workers deserve compensation for their hard work and dedication over time to their jobs. Other than salaries, another recognised and legitimate form of compensation is pension and gratuity.

If you are reading this, you are probably familiar with pensions and how it works in Nigeria. In our previous posts, we’ve looked at:

We’ve also explained:

Today, we will look at the difference between pension and gratuity in Nigeria. To be clear, both fall under the retirement compensation package but are not the same.

You’ll know the clear difference between pension and gratuity after reading this post.

For the sake of clarity, we’ll define both of them first.

Difference between pension and gratuity in Nigeria
Difference between pension and gratuity in Nigeria. Credit: Oak Pensions Limited

What is Pension?

In Nigeria, pension refers to the monthly payment you receive from the start of your retirement until death. Sometimes, you receive your pension at once (this happens when the total amount you’ve saved is N550,000 and below).

Your pension is paid into an account known as a Retirement Savings Account (RSA) while you’re actively working. And it is from this account that you get paid your pension when you retire.

The money saved in your RSA is invested according to the Multi-Fund Structure which aims to align the age and risk profile of RSA holders by dividing the RSA Fund into six distinct Funds: Fund I, Fund II, Fund III, Fund IV, Fund V and Fund VI.

What is Gratuity?

Gratuity, unlike a pension, is a payment you receive as a lump sum from your employer to reward and appreciate you for your sacrifices and hard work.

Gratuity is the amount of money that your employer sets aside from your salary into what is known as a Gratuity Fund.

Your employer determines the amount you will be paid as a gratuity by calculating the number of years of service you rendered to the organisation and your final salary.

This is why the longer you’ve worked for a company, and the higher your salary at the time of leaving, then the larger your gratuity amount will be.

Now that we’ve covered what pension and gratuity are, let’s look at the difference between both.

Difference between Gratuity and Pension in Nigeria

We will explain the difference between them according to these four factors:

  • Nature of payment

  • Payment structure

  • Funding approach

  • Duration

Nature of Payment

Pension is a regular payment made in instalments (note that it can also be paid en bloc but there is a condition for that) into your account from the balance in your RSA at the time of your retirement.

Gratuity, on the other hand, is a one-time lump sum payment paid to you when you retire or resign.

Payment Structure

Here is how the payment structure works for pension versus gratuity:


Your payment continues for the duration specified or until death.


Payment is made to you as a single lump sum when you retire or resign.

Funding Approach

Pension in Nigeria operates under what is known as the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), involving funding from both the employer and employee.

Gratuity, on the other hand, is fully funded by the employer.


Pension continues until the specified period or death.

Gratuity is a one-time payment and does not continue after it is paid.

Key takeaway

Pension in Nigeria is fully funded by both employer and employee, with the employer obligated to contribute at least 10% and the employee to contribute 8% to the employee’s RSA.

Smile into the future and open a Retirement Savings Account (RSA) with Oak Pensions. Call the Marketing Manager at 09087448661 or send us an email via

We will reply to your email with the procedure to register your RSA as soon as possible. Take that bold financial decision on time.


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