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  • Writer's pictureDamilola Agubata

The Ideal Retirement Age to Minimize Regret and Maximise Happiness

For many young people in the early stage of their careers, retirement feels like an abstract concept. They care more about making enough money to sort their present needs than how they would live in retirement.

Even when they experience a flash of what their retirement would look like, it is usually fleeting. This is why it appears difficult to discuss the ideal retirement age with people who are at the beginning of their careers.

The Ideal Retirement Age to Minimize Regret and Maximise Happiness. Credit: Oak Pensions
The Ideal Retirement Age to Minimize Regret and Maximise Happiness. Credit: Oak Pensions

The case is similar for entrepreneurs. Timi Olubiyi states in his piece for Vanguard that “only a fraction of businesses are aware of the importance of pension and retirement plans.” He was able to arrive at this conclusion after carrying out a survey in the Computer Village Ikeja area of Lagos State.

But for middle-level and senior-level workers, the story is different. Retirement feels more real than imagined. They consciously anticipate and prepare for it. They see themselves retiring with a fat pension account balance and memories of their accomplishments.

If you try to discuss the ideal age of retirement with them, you won’t be left ignored or without a note full of insights into their understanding of the perfect age to retire and live well in happiness without a lot of regrets.

Having said this, let’s look at the facts regarding the retirement age in Nigeria.

The Retirement Age in Nigeria

In Nigeria, the mandatory retirement age is 60 years old or 35 continuous years of active service. However, in April 2022, PM News Nigeria reported that President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Harmonized Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria Act, 2022, making the new retirement age for teachers across the country 65.

According to Section 1 of the Act, Nigerian teachers are required to retire at age 65 or after 40 years of pensionable employment, whichever comes first.

According to Section 3 of the Act, Nigerian teachers are exempt from the Public Service Rule and any laws requiring retirement from the public sector at age 60 or after 35 years of service.

The Retirement Age for Lecturers in Nigeria

By contrast, lecturers in Nigeria – particularly professors – are to mandatorily retire at the age of 70. Sections 4(a) and (b) of the UMPAA 2012 specify that the compulsory retirement age for academic staff in the professorial cadre shall be 70 years while that of non-academic staff shall be 65 years or after 35 years of public service.

Retirement in Nigeria Private Sector

In Nigeria, the retirement age in the private sector is different from the retirement age in the public sector. Private sector businesses and organizations each have their own unique individual retirement policies. While some businesses or organizations may allow employees to work over the age of 70, others might not. Typically, this depends on how valuable the individual is to the organization.

However, the Nigerian government expects businesses and organizations in the private sector to comply with the retirement age of sixty (60) years or thirty-five (35) years of service.

The Ideal Retirement Age in Nigeria

Having discussed the retirement age for lecturers and workers in the private sector, let’s look at the ideal retirement age for workers in all sectors across the country.

In Nigeria, the ideal retirement age is between the age of 60 and 65. It is expected that workers who fall in this age bracket have given at least 35 years of their lives to active work service.

However, if you create a social media poll asking people to share their ideal retirement age, you’ll get different answers. For most working-class Nigerians, the ideal retirement age starts from 50.

At the age of 50, you are eligible to access your pension fund in your Retirement Savings Account (RSA). For more information on RSAs, contact Oak Pensions via, or call the Marketing Manager on 09087448661.


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