CONTRIBUTION PERIOD AND GROWTH PERIOD
The CONTRIBUTION period is the time during which you contribute to your retirement fund. You may contribute to your retirement for 30 years for example, and then let it grow for another 10 years during which time you do not contribute. This 10 year period is called the GROWTH period. In most cases the CONTRIBUTION period and the GROWTH period are one and the same.
Contributions are generally regular periodic contributions made monthly, every paycheque (every 2 weeks), quarterly, yearly, etc; but from time to time contributions may also involve an initial lump-sum that is often larger than the periodic contributions. In some cases you may simply make a one-time lump-sum contribution and no further periodic contributions.