Pension delinquency up 70%

| 09/10/2013

(CNS): Three years after completing a report on the appalling state of pension delinquency in the private sector, with employers either not able or not willing to pay contributions as required by law, the complaints commissioner revealed that things are now even worse. Nicola Williams said that she found that 670 employers were failing in their pension obligations in 2010 and made some 21 recommendations to government about improvingcompliance. Since then, the number of delinquent bosses had increased by 70%, with tens of millions of dollars now missing from pension funds. Williams warned of dire future consequences when workers retire and that she would be reporting those who have failed to pay to the attorney general.

Speaking to the media Wednesday after releasing a statement about the increase in non-compliance, the complaints commissioner said that while she could not state for confidentially reasons the global sum of money missing from employees' plans, she said it was in the tens of millions of dollars. Although Williams avoided the calculations directly, she acknowledged that the 70% increase in delinquent business meant that more than 1,100 employers were now not meeting their obligations under the law.

Describing the issue as a “national crisis”, Williams said the delinquency was across the board, from large professional service firms to small mom and pop operations, which was impacting both local Caymanian workers as well as ex-pat permit holders.

Surprised that government had addressed less than half of her recommendations over the three years since the report, she said that she would now be taking the information she had to the attorney general. She pointed out that these employers were deliberately breaking the law when they not only failed to pay their 5% share of an employee contributions but were taking the other 5% from their workers’ pay packets and not placing it into the pensions. Williams explained that her office can only investigate the government entities meant to be supervising the system, such as the department of labour and pensions and the pensions board in this case, and not the actual business involved.

She said it was unacceptable after three years that the levels of compliance were worse and that government had followed only half of her office's recommendations. Although the previous administration had said the new law would deal with seven of the remaining eleven recommendations, the revised pensions legislation was never passed and the new government has not yet indicated what its position will be.

Given the disgraceful state of affairs, the only thing the commissioner said she could do was to try and force government’s hand to address the problem by exposing the shortcomings of the relevant agencies to the wider public in an effort to put some pressure on those who are in a position of responsibility and who could take action to rectify the situation.

“Paying a pension is a legal obligation not an optional extra,” the commissioner said, as she pointed out that the failure of the rogue employers to meet their obligations to their staff would have an impact on workers whose bosses were paying as it would strip the funds they are in of cash and undermine its growth potential.

On 29 January 2010 Williams launched the Own Motion Investigation into the problemof poor pension compliance.

She found that every month working men and women had funds deducted from their pay cheques thinking that the cash was going to a pension plan, “only to discover that it was used in some other way or, in some cases, stolen from them by dishonest employers who never had any intention of paying it into a pension fund as required by law,” Williams said in her statement.

The report came out in September 2010 detailing the high level of delinquency, but since then delinquent businesses have increased by 70.7%, amounting to tens of millions of dollars, and employers put on payment plans to clear their pension arrears are delinquent on these plans as well, also amounting to millions of dollars.

“This is a national crisis which should concern all of us, as many people about to retire will find that they have insufficient funds on which to live, and will have to rely on social services or other financial relief provided by the government, which are already stretched to breaking point,” Williams said in her statement. “This is not only a problem for the department of labour and pensions, but for the ministry, and government as a whole.”

The commissioner added that as long as her recommendations remained outstanding the ministry was non-compliant, and as a result of government’s failure to revise the legislation over the last three years, the commissioner was not optimistic that the new administration was likely to bring a revamped law anytime soon.

“Meanwhile the situation is worsening, as every week people who have worked all their lives and had pensions deductions made for decades are retiring into unexpected and unplanned poverty,” she warned.

CNS has contacted the relevant government agencies and is awaiting their response.

See Williams’ full statement and a copy of the original report below.

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Comments (162)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    All investigations and presentations……. What if you impose the law like an iron fist? Do you think they will acknowledge it? its not only a Caymanian or an Ex-pat who are affected by this deliquent employers but also the Cayman Islands itself, that is why there is a word "LAW" in Cayman Islands Pension law, it needs to be implemented, it is COMPULSARY…. people….. wake up!!!!! actions speaks more than words. Justice must prevail. Many employees dont talk because they are afraid to loose their jobs. Who will bring the matter to the pension board? I think the
    Pension Board should do their jobs, being a public service entity of the Cayman Islands. Every employers that is proven to be deliquent, give them on the spot charges and penalties and give the employees whether a Caymanian or Ex-pats what is due to them, not only in Grand Cayman but also here in the Sister lslands, many here are working for more than 6 years with no pension at all. I hope there will be a solution about this Injustice. Jusice delayed is Justice denied. Thank you….. God Bless us all…

  2. Anonymous says:

    Immigration owes my company almost 6000  for non approved work permit fees

    when i enquire about the money they say they are working on the check

    Lies from a dishonest govt run by unqualified people

  3. Anonymous says:

    Take money out of the personal pensions of directors, shareholders, managers and HR managers pensions of these companies to make up the difference.  Silence and following orders is no defence.

  4. Otherview says:

    Unless there is collusion and corruption protecting these thrives at the highest levels of Gov?

    The statute of limitations should immediately be extended or removed for cases involving 

    obvious cases of pension monies thefts.  These cases could not set precident for other parallel 

    financial crimes that are prevalent in the Cayman Islands, however,  well documented, legitimate claims should be able to be prosecuted beyond 5 years…………obviously the current system in over burdened, and this is exactly what the lawyers are telling the criminals…… "Let's just stretch this out for a few years and it will go away"…….of course the liars….OH, Sorry,…The lawyers are the ones laughing all the way to the bank.  All the pension monies stollen and not paid into the proper pension funds will end up going to the lawyers defending these thieves as fees and retainers to ward off the courts until the current 5 year statute of limitations expires.

    DO SOMTHING CAYMAN

    • Anonymous says:

      First of all yes I agree 100% employers shouldn't take monies and have no intentions of every giving it back, but "Dire future consequences"????  How about when i invest my money, my employer puts his share in and I STILL LOSE???? Who do i go to than?  Employees who are on work permits will take ALL THEIR MONIES out of the cayman islands, so what dire future consequences are there.  If the market keeps losing our money who do i complain to? who will compensate me for that?  Do away with pension for work permit holders, that is our business on how we take care of ourselves in our country.  I live in this country, I work in this country, I pay rent, grocercies, utilities,gas so I am contributing, but I don;t think it is fair that I have to take 5% of my hard earned money every month and have some idiot invest it in this weak market and my money is gone at th eend of the day  Let me invest it, let me worry about it…stop forcing non caymanians (work permit holders) to put money into somethig that more then likely will lose…or better yest can't wait till i am 65 and try to collect the money…

       

       

  5. SleeplessinCayman says:

    We need a Wicki leak….'out' the offending businesses by publishing a shame list in the news! Pathetic behavior by employers no matter how desperate the times! 

  6. Anonymous says:

    Last year the "National Pensions Bill 2012"   was published which would have gone a long way to help deal with this issue. It introduces fines for non-compliance, allows the National Pensions Office to name and shame employers, gives CIMA oversight of the plans – therefore freeing up the NPO to focus on employer compliance and a whole raft of other improvements.

    Unfortunately it never made it to the floor of the LA before the government collapsed – the new governement need to pick up where the former government left off and introduce legislation to reform and improve pensions. 

    • Anonymous says:

      None of that explains why the police are refusing to investigate or prosecute any overt thefts or frauds, and why every regulator keeps granting licences and permits. 

      Can you explain that other than through incompetence or corruption?

    • Anonymous says:

      Name Shame and PROSECUTE….

  7. Knot S Smart says:

    There is not much more that I can add to the comments posted on this topic – except that the payment of employee pension by businesses is a normal part of business operational expenses, and it is inexcusable for businesses to harm the very employees that enable the business to exist…

    • Anonymous says:

      I can add something else – yesterday's US news headlines indicate that the previous mayor of Detroit was convicted and sent to jail for 28 years!!!!! Abuse of power, self enrichment etc. That what he is being put away for!

      Until Cayman puts corrupt politicians and business owners for a stealing from their employees in jail NOTHING WILL CHANGE!

      I encourage the people who got screwed by their employers to band together and press criminal charges. Whilst one employee may not be able to afford hiring an attorney, I am sure 10 standing together may be able to do so. Also, doesn't legal aid apply to someone trying to enforce his/her rights under the law? Lastly, nothing prevents the employees from publishing the list of employers who screwed them. I sure know I would be shouting their names from the top of the roof!

      • Anonymous says:

        I'm in…I'm willing to name names and I'm willing to join forces to press criminal charges because I am one of those unable to pay the legal fees alone…especially for the corruption in my case!!!!

        Is there a willing attorney who wants to make a name for themselves??  I've already done most of the work and have substantial documentation…but so far I've been fighting this injustice alone.

      • Anonymous says:

        If you are an expat and you complain you will probably be off-island within 3 days or so without your pension or your last month's pay.

        • Anonymous says:

          20;56

          Expats dont want to pay into this savings, they all send their money home to build their homes and educate their children. Make sense to me !!!

          They are smarter people!!

      • Kraken says:

        Well documented cases of obvious pension theft have been brought to the RCIPS attention and they say there is nothing they can do as this is a Pensions and Labor Board issue.  Obviously the Pensions and Labor Board HAVE NO POWER OR ABILITIES TO PROCESICUTE AND CONVICT !!!!  They have the complaints on file…..GIVE THEM THE POWER !!!!

        • Anonymous says:

          The police are simply being wrong and/or lazy. Every fraud and theft is a police matter. That it may also be a pension matter does not mean the police do not have to treat it as the crime it is, independent of whether or not the pension regulators act. In fact, if the pension regulators are not acting, the police may have reason to investigate the reasons for that too!

      • Anonymous says:

        12;50

        What you should have said, was to jail all the politicians and money grabbers who started this forced savings in the frst place.

        I do not condone employers stealing from their employees, but i dont think there are many of them. Most of the companies are not  complying, simple, the money is not there.

        Should the government, like they bragged about, had put a stop to the issuing of trade and business licenses to every tom, big dick and harry, then the well – established business would be in a better shape to make money to pay these fees.

        In 1995 we had 170 construction companies, now we have 765.

    • Kraken says:

      Legal Aid only applies to Caymanians…..usually only in domestic cases and most specifically only if ichildren are involved.

       

  8. Anonymous says:

    I have an idea.. DON'T RENEW A BUSINESS LICENSE OF ANY COMPANY THAT OWES EMPLOYEES PENSION MONEY!! I had an employer take pension of out my pay and pocket it, nothing was never put into my pension! It took the Pension Board over 1 year to get it back to me!

  9. Anonymous says:

    CNS I hope you have already done an FOI to get the list of deadbeat employers so you can soon “name and shame” them. Looking forward to seeing that list on CNS. Then we can choose not to do business with them.

    There have to be real consequences for these violators.

    Is this really that difficult to fix? How about for the violating companies: no “certificates of good standing,” no T&B license renewals, no work permits, no government contracts, no contracts with statutory authorities or government companies, no bidding on government entity public tenders, no planning approvals, no property transfers, no tourist accommodation licence renewals, no vehicle licence renewals, no any other kind of license renewals, no post office box rentals, no imports, keep them listed on a gov.ky webpage, until they pay their pension backlog.

    And how about prosecuting them for Pensions Law violations, starting with the biggest violators?

    Weed out the deadbeats. If they can’t live up to their responsibilities they don’t deserve to be in the competition for business. Reward good, compliant employers by eliminating cheating competitors.

    Sure there will be some businesses thatwould have to shut down because they’re not being run properly and can’t afford to comply with pension regulations. That will make space in the market for good, legally compliant competitors to grow and hire Caymanian workers made jobless by the closed businesses.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you're so keen to see the list you could always submit the FOI request yourself and let CNS have copies of the responses.  I'm sure CNS would appreciate the help!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Mrs. Williams was once a student of mine and I am so proud to see her educate the government and tell it like it is befiore it gets to late. 

    • Anonymous says:

      19:22

      Miss Williams is reckless and presumptuous in her long drawn out statement.

      What she is telling the authority, is to shut down up to 1500 hundred small businesses and let them stand in the dole line. Just like her country where she came from. …the  UK.

      She is not telling the caymanian people that in the UK they have what they call "The black hole"

      "Pension" 360 Billion pounds of it not being paid, due to a bad economy. Her and her counterparts  should be more considerate for the businesses here, our economy is still bad, dont they understand that??

  11. Anonymous says:

    Why not make it a requirement that monthly reports are emailed or made available to employees so that they can double check that their employer has been submitting their respective 5% contributions? At least then problems may be caught more quickly and problem employers might be identified a little quicker than the 3 years it took for the complaints comissioner to follow up on this problem. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Both Silver Thatch and Chamber of commerce have monthly statements online where employees can verify their contributions. They are also sent physical statements every 3 months. 

  12. Savannah Resident says:

    So where is the official response by the Chambers of Commerce regarding the lack of pension payments by businesses?  At minimum, this organization should enforce all members are compliant with the law. 

    Some food for thought 

    • Anonymous says:

      Huh? Who do you think is reporting these employers to the Superintendant of Pensions?? It is the pension plans who are reporting them to government – it is then up to government to enforce the law.  

    • Anonymous says:

      I think the Chambers are having enough problems with their own pension.  Have you ever had or looked into a Chambers pension?  Mine lost most of the money I put into it! 

      • Anonymous says:

        10;32 you are the only one on here, made any sense in your comment.

        It is so obvious that the people commenting here to shut down these unfortunate businesses,  are crippled with the black crab mentallity.

        Not one of them are saying they were illtreated by their employers, they just want to destroy their own Caymanians…so typical of them.

        Do any of you jack asses realise that some of us have been in business for over 35 years? and we never asked the  to be  forced to put aside savings for you disgruntled people. Our business were doing good until this law came into place.

        So you all would rather see us fail and join the line at social services. Whinch is worst? keep operating our business, pay our employees wages, pay our high cost of living…bills  or shut down and join the line ????

  13. Savannah Resident says:

    Oh my beloved island Cayman.  We have the Minister of Finance projected surplus at the end of the fiscal year but somehow he failed to acknowledge the liability payments for pension’s funds.  *facepalm*

    I swear you couldn’t even make this up if you tried.  PPM better get act together quickly, as people of our country are continuing to suffer the high cost of living.

    P.S. when are we going to get single member constituency?  That was heavily campaigned during elections by PPM, yet nothing has been done to address this issue to date.  

     

    • Anonymous says:

      People, although I strongly support OMOV single member constituencies, general elections are 3 1/2 years away; it is not a priority right now. There are many pressing issues the govt. must tackle.

      Also, you complain about the high cost of living and also the underfunded public pensions. Do you understand that a reduction in taxes means less money to go to reduction of debt and increasing the funding to pensions?

      Patience: one step at a time.  

  14. Johnny says:

    I bet you to calm everybody down, you will now see the Police doing more road stops to show some kind of enforcement is happening. Just watch and see. We've been repeating this labor complaint for years now under the PPM and UDP administration, and nothing has been done about it.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Don't these employers realize how bad this look on them as a company probably representing other people who maybe trusting them to their money for investments. Ms Williams didn't just say it was the Mom and Pop type  companies and I am happy she isn't hiding anything for anyone.

    It is not like it can be swept under the carpet because everything in God's earth becomes public knowledge nowadays with all the windows of media we have.

    When on God's earth are the polictians in Cayman going to fight for the rights of the people and don't let the crooks get away with criminal activity such as this?

    Cayman Pension Plan is nothing short of being some Ponzi Scheme.

    I would be happy right now to get my hands on all of mine because I just notice it has lost money.

     

  16. Anonymous says:

    The pension scheme in Cayman sucks… every company should invest the money in a trust that way it is safe for the employee… I have lost thousands out of my pension

    • Anonymous says:

      Pension schemes are trusts, the difficulty is obviously getting employers to pay over the money.

      • Anonymous says:

        Employers are not taking  any pension funds from their emplyees now for a long time. I do not blame them either.

        There are over 1,500  small  businesses that cant afford it. The people critisizing  these small businesses are jealous and envious of them.

        We were all doing well until these crooks con our goverment into setting up this ponzi cheme, to rob small businesses of their  little earnings.

        I cant believe that these Caymanian small business people,  are sitting on their asses and let this happen to them, why dont they speak out? they sit there like little children and take the shit. what are they scared of ?  

        The baroness was in the news spewing her reckless and presumpteous remarks, that we should shut down our businesses, if we cant afford to pay this forced savings for our workers.

        I want to tell her one thing, we were long in business before this scheme came along.

      • Anonymous says:

        12;10

        Eployers  do not have the money to induce in their emplyees savings.

  17. Anonymous says:

    CIG could solve a lot of the unemployment by creating new jobs under an industry called "oversight"….it seems there are many aspects of business and society in the Cayman Islands that are sorely lacking in oversight and subsequent enforceability of any findings of wrong-doing…..

    i'm not sure this news about Pensions being unpaid is really 'news' to many of us….the marl road has long been awash with stories about caymanian and non-caymanian employers, some very high profile, some in positions of power in the community, all non-paying 

    but it is a crime if you take from someone else what is not yours…..regardless of how 'bad' business is, you can't steal from your employee's…..even if they are foreign!! this really is a scandal…if your business is that bad, shut it down, you are already in a death spiral….

    i would suggest that enforcing pension compliance upon work-permit holders is unnecessary……..however, you could make it a pre-requisite for PR, meaning that if they hadnt enrolled and contributed towards a pension for perhaps the previous 5 years (giving them time at the start to see if they really wanted to stay here), then sorry, but thats a deal-breaker for PR

    i also thought that any company employing work-permit holders had to show that their pension contributions were up to date?? again, where is the oversight of this??

    i also thought that T&B licences were only renewed if your pension contributuons were up to date??? oversight??

    by the way….lets not all blame the employers, the employee's can take responsibility also…to a limited extent….but for those that 'didnt know', the pensions are fully transparent, you can ask your provider to email or post you a statement…….alas, there is also the culture of fear that should some of them speak up, they'll lose their jobs…and thats understandable, but unforgiveable

    guys – the entire house of cards is crumbling around us…….its been building for a generation based on entitlement, corruption and fear…..where did the C4C people go? i thought they'd have our backs……where are you now?

    • Anonymous says:

      Nice world you live in. Try asking the government for a pension statement and see what answer is given. 

    • anonymous says:

      Why createmore jobs to oversee what is already being done in government?

      Why don't the jobs get done as they are meant to be, free from corruption, nepotism, ineptitude and inefficiency?

      If they don't perform as required get rid of them and bring in someone who can, regardless of where they are from.

      • Anonymous says:

        7;34

         

        You all people  should be more consern with the high rate of crime in this country and not like trying to force us to give 5% savings to our employees.Its just not there….go ahead and shut 1500 of us down.

         

        This is a way for the government to punish the small businesses. especially the permit holders. we are responsible for them from the time they land on our shores.Work permit fees, responsible for their  abode, forced savings, health insurance,vacation money redundance pay.

        The past governments have failed the people, so we take the kick in the ass.

        Let them pay for their own work permits. They shouldnt  land here without a health insurance plan…anyway.

        What more does the government want us to give them…our property? we pay all these fees and a good salary.

        What do we get? a kick in the ass.

    • Anonymous says:

      12: 14

       

      That is my point! shut us all down, and we will difinatly join the gang. you know what i mean!!

       

  18. Anonymous says:

    Is anyone really surprised?  As a 20 year resident and now Caymanian, I have learned that Cayman is the land of non-enforcement for everything.  Building codes – don't worry just build what you want we won't force you to take it down.  Traffic laws – drive like a maniac, speed, tint your windows , no insurance – no worries.  Work permits – they are rules for advertising, just look in any Friday edition of the Compass and most ads don't comply but the WP's are approved.Don't pay pension or health, they don't have the will to prosecute.  But heaven forbid that you have music or dancing on a Sunday and the full wrath of Cayman justice will come down on you!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Also, can't the employees take action against the employers for Breach of Contract (but who has the cash to go to court here or get a lawyer; and they don't want to lose their jobs, so employees do nothing).

    Surely it is theft to take money from employees & keep it. The RCIPS should arrest the employers for THEFT & they should be jailed.

    • Anonymous says:

      10: 13

      I must ask, why dont the employees take their 5% in and pay it themselves?

      The law states both are responsible to contribute 5% of their salary. The expats are too happy not to, they are sending home their salary.

      Can you say what should happen to them for not doing so?????

  20. Anonymous says:

    Make it a requirement to show up to date pension contributions before a trade and business license can be renewed.

    • Anonymous says:

      And before any additional work permits are issued.

    • Anonymous says:

      But since the Trade and Business Licensing Law is never enforced, what difference would that make?

    • Anonymous says:

      It supposedly already is but no one bothers to enforce it. Same with WPs. Deliquent employers have for years been supposedly barred from recruiting new ex-pat staff but the wheels get greased or people get phoned and the paperwork slips through. This goes way beyond simple non-payment of pension contributions and/or medical insurance – it's something that needs serious investigating.

    • Anonymous says:

      ..and work permits granted or renewed – and not just for that applicant but EVERY employee.

      • Anonymous says:

        So – my employer doesn't pay into my pension plan and to compensate me, you take away my work permit and my job, throw me off the island and make it almost impossible for me to get my money back (you try fighting a court case from another country) – thanks!

        • Anonymous says:

          No, I give you priority in securing alternative employment in Cayman for a law abiding business that does not prey on expatriate workers. Of course, if you would rather support ongoing illegality and abuse, I would much rather you indeed return to your homeland rather than encouraging it in mine. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Too complicated. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I recommended this to CIG a long time ago. In fact, there are many areas which could readily be linked to a T&B licence.

      The flip of that is to require banks to check annually for businesses to have a current T&B licence in order to keep their bank account open.

      If you don't have a T&B and can't (because of that) have a bank account, how quickly before you pay up to keep the credibiity of a bank account ?

       

  21. Leona says:

    Whether you are on Wall Street or West Bay Road, penalties and jail are for the “little people”.

    • Anonymous says:

      The PPM lack the spine to take on business owners and managers when those people are Caymanian.  They like keep their targets small and weak like Jamaican helpers and Canadian dive-instructors.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well hold on.  This is a report since 2010, when the UDP was in power.  PPM has been in power since the end of May, I fail to see how this is on their head.  let's wait to see what they do about it before throwing stones at them.

      • Anonymous says:

        We have some of the best Caymanian divers that could be found in the world, so what in the world do we have to favour you as a Canadian diver. Every day there is a phone call or someone knocking on your door asking if you need a domestic helper. You know what employ them and you will see what they can do. Some Caymanians are merely being nice and trying to help them. As they enter your door they tell you that they are Adventist and do not work on saturdays, thats just to get that day off. However if you go shopping they can be seen out in the supermarkets or stores just like us. We do have some wonderful Jamaican helpers who Caymanians think of like their own family but these now a day ones , just try them……. You cant have a decent meal unless you cook it for yourselves. 

        • Anonymous says:

          Favour divers outside of Caymanian divers maybe because….the ocean is sooooo big!!!

          Every day you get a phone call or someone knocking on your door – how do they know your number and where you live?  Congratulations…so many people love you!!

          No, don't know what employ them and when will I see what they can do?

          So Caymanians don't tell people they are Adventist cos there are none?  Guess supermarkets and stores are a good place to shop especially on a Saturday when you get that day off.

          Jamaican helpers who Caymanianssd think of like their own……oh, family..but these now a day ones, just try them….???

          Well cook your damn meal your damn self and wake up and be decent!!!

          TGIF!!

        • anonymous says:

          You might want to get off your entitled ass and do it yourself.

          It worked for us all in the real world.

      • Cowitch says:

        The report was looking at a period when the UDP was primairily in charge.  Try again UDP stooge.  

        • Anonymous says:

          The point is what is the PPM going to do about it?  I am no UDP stooge, however I seriously consider that this government is unlikely to take the action needed to remedy this issue.

        • Anonymous says:

          The comment was about what the PPM would do about it now.  And we know the answer is something be "very little" and "nothing".

    • Anonymous says:

      We have met the enemy and he is us.

                                                     — Pogo

  22. Anonymous says:

    The exploitation of foreign workers here is shocking. Caymanian business owners, like so many in this society, seem to think their immediate, selfish needs outweigh their legal and moral obligations to others, especially if those others are expats (although many Caymanians seem quite willing to screw over their own as well, they know they can get away with so much more with expats, especially those on lower wage scales). What is most disgusting about their behavior is that in many cases, their needs are generated from living a materialistic existence of luxuries and a lifestyle beyond their means, while many of their victims are just struggling to survive.
    This is just another manifestation of Cayman's entitlement culture and the misguided sense of self-importance many Caymanians exhibit.  Cayman is a Christian society in name only and the levels of avarice and hypocrisy here seemingly have no bounds. Cayman has become morally bankrupt and all most Caymanians want to do is point fingers at others without taking a long look in the mirror. It is very sad to see what has happened to this society in just one generation. Successive governments (and the PPM in particular) have lacked the political fortitude to speak honestly about the problems, let alone developing any tough-love solutions. Instead, they pander to the lowest common denominators like greed, nepotism and cronyism amongst a gullible electorate, all for political expediency.  The course we are currently on, which might give Caymanians a misguided sense of comfort from a nationalistic stance, is only going to make matters worse from and economic perspective, resulting in a further increase in illegal, immoral and uncivilised behaviours.

     

    • Cowitch says:

      "Successive governments (and the PPM in particular) have lacked the political fortitude to speak honestly about the problems,"

       
      Care to justify that politically charged comment in an otherwise reasonable post?
    • Anonymous says:

      Amen.

    • Anonymous says:

      Most of the business owner's in question are from foreign countries. The mistake that was made by Cayman was to bring them into our community and allow them to call themselves Caymanian.

      • Anonymous says:

        True and then they complain and talk bad about Caymanians and Cayman.  I told one that famous Cayman saying, if your country is so wonderful please go back to it.

         I tried to get a helper and the first thing she said was I don't work Sunday cause that's when I go to church and then she added two other nights.  I don't remember the nights causeas soon as she said I don't work Sundays, I tuned her out.

        Unfortunately, Caymanians you are not doing your country a favor, when you sign for these people to get work permits.  Remember that eventually they will be applying for status and/or marrying a Caymanian to stay here.  A few years after that they will be living off of Social Services so when these domestics come by asking you to take out permits for them: don't.

        Also, Immigration shouldn't you be checking why employers are firing an employee that has been working a short time?  Obviously, something has gone down.

         

         

         

        • Diogenes says:

          So she wanted one day and two evenings a week off.  Outrageous. She should work 24/7.   Incidentally, how many days a week and how many evenings do you work?  

    • Anonymous says:

      I am tired of hearing about the Cayman Christian Community. Just visit all the churches and you will be surptised to see which nationality the churches is comprised of. When we had the SDA churches the Baptist, the Holiness and the Catholic they were the days that we had a good Community. Now on every corner a building is rented calling it church with an expat congregation and now a day we have more crime. Stop calling the few of us who attend church hypocrites when your peoples churches are gold diggers. I dont think that no Caymanian intend to cheat no one from their benefits but most of these businesses are very small businesses, then on the other hand most of those that were given Status opened their very own small businesses and they are the ones that like to cheat their workers just like they do back home. Why do you think that their Country is so full of crime with many murders per week. BUOY SHUT UP AND GO BACK TO YOUR HEAVEN.

      • Anonymous says:

        It is best you keep your fingers away from the keyboard and be thought a fool than to type away and remove all doubt.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Ms. Williams said she was  “Surprised that government had addressed less than half of her recommendations over the three years since the report, she said that she would now be taking the information she had to the Attorney general.”

    Regrettably Ms. Williams one of the major problems of the non-compliant government regulation of pensions is directly because of the absolutely shameful service by the Attorney General Office and the Courts. 

    The Attorney General has refused to take cases against one of the largest employers in our Islands.

    In other cases some of them have been to Court seventeen (17) times without resolution.  The workers have been waiting years and years for their pension money.

    Ms. Williams I suggest that you investigate the Attorney General’s Legal Dept. and report on that to us.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am suddenly realizing that poor Mr Bulgin is going to be the next that they assinate like what they did to Mack. He is a good man and one that Ihighly respect that came to our shores from Jamaica.He always try to assist wherever necessary. Thank God he is educated and can go elsewhere and have a good job with less stress. God bless him and his lovely wife.

    • Anonymous says:

      For goodness sake when will people understand that the Attorney General is no longer responsible for criminal prosecutions. The 2009 Constitution made a new post the Director of Public Prosecutions and that post is now solely responsible for prosecutions, an independent post. The AG is not the person to report these cases to, or to bring the prosecutions, the DPP is!

  24. Anonymous says:

    not surprising considering the crippling cost of doing business in cayman…….

    cayman is doomed……

  25. Anonymous says:

    Why did the Minister of Labour not bring in people to overhaul the Department of Labour & Pensions too? They're directly responsible for enforcement and compliance of labour & pension laws.

    AC

  26. Anonymous says:

    This is such and shame and disgrace to know that Govt passed this law but yet have not enforced to the fullest. It will be a nightmare to say the least when poor people at their time of retirement think they will at  least get that meager $1000.00 per month to help pay their bills.

    I wonder how these employers can sleep at night when they know in the long run that they are robbing their employees who work hard everyday to contribute to the Pension Plan which in my opinion is a fraud.

    These employers need to be made known to the public.

     

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Bingo, how many people realize that all they will get is $1,000 per month.  This is being sold as 'retirement', no one can live on that amount.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Do an FOI and name and shame

  28. Anonymous says:

    I am a business owner and we do not have the cash to pay…..I have two choices. 1. Lay off some of my Caymanian staff and pay the remaining staff's pension. Or 2. Keep my staff, paying them every month and delay paying their pension which they can't access now anyway.

    i think most would agree to keep the Caymanians employed right now and owe them pension is better than laying them off…..don't you agree????

    • Anonymous says:

      Quick question before I troll you. Are you taking the 5% from your workers pay chq and still not paying in to a pension or are you just not paying and not deducting either? If you are taking their 5% and yet you're still trying to justify it on CNS that makes you an idiot and a thief!

    • Anonymous says:

      I'm sorry that you are struggling, but you do have a responsibility to run your business in compliance with all of the laws…not just the laws you pick and choose.  Unfortunately, non-compliance will not help you in the long run.  However, I want to share my own story with you as a small business owner. 

      I filed a complaint more than four years ago…I want all business owners that are struggling to comply with the NPL to know that my complaint was for a missing pension through an employer with substantial ability to pay and has not been ordered to comply!!  Instead the Superintendent entered into a "confidential settlement agreement" and DID NOT enforce the compliance with the NPL.  The matter is on-going…but why are some employers brought to court and fined for their violations, while others enter into "agreements" without fines and STILL not be required to establish a pension account with an approved plan administrator. 

      As a business owner, I would be outraged to know that some are given exceptions…and they definitely aren't struggling financially to keep their business going!!! 

      I hope your business will survive, but without violating the laws.

    • Weapons Grade Bollocks says:

      You are a thief. That much is clear.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you deducting it from their salaries? Are you paying your own pension? If so, and you are not paying their pension, then you are a crook – plain and simple.

       

      Tell us who you are and we will help you (to the police station).

    • ex-Net News says:

      This sounds like someone who learnt business economics from the late Desmond Seales because that's what he argued at Net News.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do not agree.Simply you are crook!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I am a struggling business owner as well but choose to follow the law. You don't need to fire but maybe ask the employees to take a 5 percent cut if needed.  This way you can retain your employees and be compliant with the law.  Once back on feet restore wages to prior levels.  

      If you don't foresee getting back on your feet then you either restucture the company or close it. 

      Please tell me that you don't take this approach with their medical insurance and work permit fees!

    • SSM345 says:

      So you are banking on some mammoth windfall for your business in the future whereby you will be able to make lump sum payments of the total amount of money owed to these employees pensions?

      So what happens if you lay these people offbefore said dump truck of cash appears or your busniess is run into the ground?

      Thief is what you are, plain and simple.

    • Anonymous says:

      Or 3. Lay off the expat staff and pay the pensions to the Caymanian staff (if you truly have any).

  29. Otherview says:

    A complaint filed with The Pensios Board will sit in a file for years with little or know action as 

    "we are trying, but we are so busy", or "we contacted your delinquent employer and he sent his lawyer to see us.", or "your employer gave us several checks…….and they all bounced".

    Excuses, excuses,excuses…………the police will do nothing, even in cases of obvious theft,

    even when presented with evidence, as they say "this is a Labor Board, or Pensions Board issue

    and you must contact the boards directly"………..so the run around and circus continues.

    Deny or triple the cost of work permits for delinquent employers………DO SOMTHING !!!!

  30. Anonymous says:

    Let's see the difference, if any, when this is compared to the government pension. I suspect that this pot has been dipped into and converted into air miles.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Just another example, among many, of a law that is not being enforced or a law that is selectively enforced.

     

    This happens in other countries as well.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I bet the government will not be as active or vocal about this, because they only take steps against the little people, not their rich friends.

    • Anonymous says:

      Gov't is equally as bad if not worse with their pension payments for CS workers. I guess our Gov't feels they have no room to judge hense why nothing has been done to punish/rectify the guilty employers.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Directors of these companies should be required to pay the full amounts personally and then be fined the same amount to encourage others to comply.  

  34. Anonymous says:

    And the law abiding employers get penalized as our costs are higher than our competition who don't pay health or pension benefits. They can price their products cheaper than us since they don't incur such costs.  Let's make some of the law breaking businesses examples with some hefty fines.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is another reason I feel they entire pension sheme should be abolished. Too many employers not compliant, nothing gets done about it and the good pay masters suffer. I'd rather save my own money the way I see fit because after retirement, and with the high cost of living on these islands pension payments still aren't nearly enough to tide anyone over. NAME AND SHAME THE COMPANIES THAT ARE ROBBING STAFF!!!!

  35. Caybad says:

    As all businesses require a majority of Caymanian ownership, this crime is being perpetuated by CAYMANIANS, on their own people as well as expats, absolutley shameful!!. Prosecute the lot of them, take their houses and cars and then ship them to little Cayman to live the rest of their days fighting over iguana!

  36. Anonymous says:

    So when I am makig my FBAR and FATCA disclosures to the IRS should I write down how much is actually in my pension account or what should be in my account?

  37. Anonymous says:

    Whats new!

    what about those that are bidding on jobs without a buisness licence?

    makeing off with the, you know , job not fineshed.

  38. Anonymous says:

    My goodness me! I can't believe that all these Caymankind employers are and have been cheating their employees out of their pension benefits. It's so un-Christian and we know how strong the Christian element is in our culture. I thought all the complaints I was getting from Jamaicans (especially) were all just nasty anti-Caymanian stuff.  And yes, I do accept non Caymanian employers (there are a tiny number of these) are guilty too. But this is a CAYMANIAN offence and needs to be prosecuted.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh for heaven's sakes! Please leave Christianity out of this, and leave off the anti-Caymanian garbage. There are plenty of expat employers involved. 

    • Anonymous says:

      The biggest ones in this are those that got Cayman Status and are now hiring their own people and guess what? No pension, health care, they lucky if they get wages oh and let's not forget paying for their own work permits.

      • Anonymous says:

        Which means (as the immigration law clearly provides that Cabinet can revoke their status, as) it is an offence made possible or facilitated by the grant. Will cabinet do that? no. They do not enforce the law either.

    • Anonymous says:

      The fundamental problem is that we have allowed too many unscrupulous people to become permanent members of our community and to carry the title Caymanian. When the community was truly Caymanian and truly Christian we did not have these types of problems to the extent that they exist today. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Christian country ?

      Because of THAT mentality, we have these problems.

       

       

  39. Anonymous says:

    Ok here we go. The economy is failing. Businesses are struggling to keep the doors open. How in God’s green earth can they afford another burden. If they are pocketing monies from unsuspecting employees then those ones in particular need to be prospects for legal action. That is theft. But for many they cannot bare burden and hence do not comply. If the money was rolling in many would but this is not the case. On top of that the Government is sending people packing after nine years. Most will not qualify for PR and off they go. No burden to the CI Government. The pesnsion for permit holders is just poor economic sense. It is millions that does not stay in our economy and is sent offshore. This is poor legislation and needs an amendment in order for the country to survive as thriving is just not possible these days for most. When the upper end workers of Government are collecting 6 figures or close to it it is easy to make and support these demands.

    • Anonymous says:

      Expat funds in pension plans represent a very large proportion of all pension funds. That also means that they are paying a large portion of the expenses of your pension plan even though they have no intention of ever retireing here. The larger the pension fund the cheaper it is to run so be careful what you wish for… you may not like the bill you recieve at the end of it. 

       

  40. Anonymous says:

    Your Excellency? Good Governance?

    You and everyone in any authority should be ashamed (well, not you, you just got here, but please be aware that this country is now disfunctional to its very core). There is no clearer indication than this issue, but it pervades every aspect of government.   Every law is only complied with by those who choose to. There is no real enforcement of anything. Our society is collapsing and is potentially unsustainable and ultimately the only reason is either incompetence or corruption. In either case – please steer our elected officials the right way, and unless there is dramatic action soon, please take over. It is our only hope.

  41. Anonymous says:

    This is not surprising. Many Employers are disobeying the law because they know that the relevant Government Dept will do nothing about. Furthermore, if you are an employee of such as an Employer and decide to voice your concern about the matter you will see how quickly you become unemployed and when you try to seek a job your former employer will provide you with a glowing references to potential employers. This has been going on for far too long and something needs to be done. Now that they have looked at the pension, time to look at the provision of health insurance by these same employers. 10 out of 10 times if they do not pay the pension they don't provide health insurance. Employers within and associated with the construction and blue collar industry are famous for this.

  42. Anonymous says:

    we are a true Christian country. How can this happen !!

    • Anonymous says:

      Because of naive people like you, the bad people can do whatever they want.

      And then you get what is called a christian country.

      A country full of fools. . . .

  43. #Whoyoufa says:

    Name and shame the companies that are breaking the law since everybody knows they will not be prosecuted. A complete farce

    • Anonymous says:

      That'll never happen because a number of the businesses involved are either owned by current/former MLAs, civils servants (some of them holding very senior posts) and RCIPS officers or by members of their families. When you tackle that things might improve.

    • Anonymous says:

      Would be interesting to know how many of these companies are contractors to government. If the list can't be published at least government could stop doing business with them.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Unbelievable why these companies are not being fined.

    Maybe not so unbelievalble, since most of them must have political connections and have contributed to the last campaigns.

    Disgusting . . . .

    Why don't we see a list of the companies ?

  45. Cayman Mama says:

    As an employer who is in compliance with the Pensions Law,  these deadbeat companies cost us money every day, as it is difficult to compete with their illegally low overheads.  They probably don't pay overtime either, or other Requirements of the Labour Law.  

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Not just deadbeat companies either, there are some very well known names involved. The problem is lack of enforcement. Both my partner and myself suffered from this (and in her case non-payment of medical insurance as well) but the process to tackle it, involving sending several written warnings, takes months. The answer is simple, either scrap the current pension scheme as unworkable or deal with it as fraud and just haul the defaulting employer straight into court. In both our cases the employer involved paid up before we left the islands but was then allowed to carry on as normal with all their other employees.

    • Anonymous says:

      very accurate comment indeed…..I would suggest that most of the offenders or a good number of them are caymanian small companies….and I know one very large caymanian employer who still owes me 9 months pension and I am Caymanian!

  46. Anonymous says:

    I am almost 100% certain that the majority of those affected are expat workers. One of the dirty little secrets that nobody in Cayman wants to talk about is fact that a lot of the business owners in Cayman want expat workers because they know that they can be exploited with minimal consequences. This is a failure of numerous governments over the years and the business owners involved should be prosecuted and sent to prison.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are u kidding? Did you see the numbers? We don't have that kind of space in northward! 

    • Anonymous says:

      From my personal experience it was Hondurans, Filipinos and Jamaicans who got royally screwed because they were XXXX-scared of being fired and having to go home. The boss knew that if he tried it with ex-pats from UK/Europe/N America they would either report him or thump him, or both. Sadly, as a Brit myself I have to say the employer was a papered Caymanian from the UK not a native so I guess the slavery mentality still survives. My only consolation is that the guy eventually spent all his profits in the local bars and went bust.

  47. Anonymous says:

    Any employer that deducted pension contributions from their employees income but did not put the funds into a pension plan should be sent to prison.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Pension payments delinquent, Work Permits denied. Simple solution. The real reason they are applying for permits in the first instance is because they don't have to pay pensions for the first nine months. After that they can send them back if they are not happy with not receiving pension payments.

    It's time to name and shame all of them so we can avoid doing business with them.

  49. Anonymous says:

    I am a business owner here since 1989 and have always played by the rules!

    We loose work everyday to these types of businesses and looks like its better to break the law than follow it!!!!

    I am sick of hearing about this and yet still nothing is done about it!

    If I walk into a store and steal a candy bar I would be arrested, but If I steal my employees pension (money) that would add to tens of thousands of dallors its ok! 

    Dont get it!!!!

    How am I suppose to compete with this?

    How could someone be allowed to do this there employees?

     

     

  50. Anonymous says:

    Just wait for the first person, probably an expat trying to withdraw their pension when they rollover, that sues the government for not ensuring compliance and by default, reducing the growth of their pension fund.

  51. Alice in Wonderland says:

    What do these jokers do with $600,000,000? Year after year after year.

    The Civil Circus is an absolute joke at every level. And we have to pay for the show.

    • Anonymous says:

      As bad as the returns are on these pension funds, I do NOT want that money to be invested locally. There is too much corruption. You will hear tales of political influence and under the table deals with fund managers investing into shady projects b/c of political connections. Keep the money in the stock market and off shore funds. I'd much rather a megar 3-5% return than to hear that my hard earned pension is gone b/c Joe Blow skipped town with millions, never to return.   

  52. Anonymous says:

    cayman and her thieves. high and low.

  53. Anonymous says:

    I filed a complaint with the Superintendent for collusion and at least three violations of the NPL, it was investigated and Orders issued for compliance.  Then to my surprise, the Superintendent rescinded the Orders and entered into an agreement with the violators, compliance was not enforced, and to-date there is still no pension account with an approved plan administrator.  Over four years later, there are several MLA's that have knowledge of the violations, several FOI requests that have resulted in an ICO appeal, and failure of action by Chief Officers and the NPO.  I have followed all of the proper procedures to allow for a resolution in this matter, and yet the cover-up of these violations has continued.

    I hope the efforts of Ms. Williams and the exposure of the lack of enforcement will allow the government agencies to follow through with their responsibilities.

    I believe the business owners who struggling to comply with the NPL should have knowledge of those who are not in compliance…especially where the violators have the financial ability to comply and willfully collude to violate the law.

  54. Anonymous says:

    and just so there is no doubt, the moment an employer deducts money from a pay cheque and then puts that in their own pocket they are a common thief.

    and just so there is no doubt these overt thefts have been reported, with all the required evidence to secure convictions, to the police and regulators for years and they have done nothing. I do not believe that any of these fraudsters has ever been prosecuted for the criminal theft and fraud they have committed on their own staff.  The police seem to have some explaining to do.

    and just so there is no doubt, immigration continue to grant and renew work permits for the 1100 businesses identified. Either immigration is as corrupt as the business owners or the business owners are committing a fraud on immigration every time they file an immigration application. I prefer the latter. In either event, no substantial action is taken by anyone. Immigration appears to have some explaining to do.

    and just so there is no doubt, using a business as a vehicle to commit fraud makes all proceeds liable to confiscation under the Proceeds of Crime Law. The government legal department appears to have some explaining to do.

    and just so there is no doubt, stealing employee pension monies is grounds to have permits and PR's and even status revoked without a conviction as clear evidence and a balance of probabilities is enough (although a conviction would be nice). Cabinet appears to have some explaining to do.

    How many persons in management roles in these 1100 businesses have been granted Key Employee, and PR, and Status while breaking our laws? 

    Now would government please protect the employees and honest businesses by shutting down  (and where possible) deporting the pirates who have stolen their employee's monies, and get the money to its rightful owner?.

    It is called enforcing the law – something no government has been willing to do for decades – including the present one (so far). Dare you! Bring back some credibility (and making a couple of random examples ain't nowhere near enough)!

    Thank you Ms. Williams. You are doing your job. Something no-one else seems capable of! 

     

    • Anon says:

      Excellent post! 

    • Foreign Devil says:

      Cradle to grave care here in the Caymans if it's not the goverment  taking care of us it is our employers.

      what happened to that pride that my father used to talk about?

    • Anonymous says:

      Just so there is no doubt,  This is the Cayman islands.  The land of pretending.  Pretending to be competent.  Pretending to care about the people.  Pretending to work or know how to work,  Pretending to be qualified, the list is endless, the problems are many.  Only holding the many accountable can stop this.  Who to start with?  The anti corruption office should be busy!………….Pretending to do thier job.

    • Dubious says:

      A good post but why infer this is non-Caymanian employers commiting the crime? The vast majority of employers on the Islands are Caymanian.

      • Anonymous says:

        Most of the larger employers are not.

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually, not true, but only because the Local Companies (Control) Law is not enforced. Many Caymanian "owners" are only fronting. Itself  a criminal offence but hey, who cares about laws that no-one applies, investigates, enforces or prosecutes?

      • Anonymous says:

        It is traditional Caymanians, New Caymanians, and Expatriates, all committing this fraud. It however directly relates to the unemployment of Caymanians because when it happens to a Caymanian they can call Ezzard. When it happens to an expat they can call whover they want and are totally ignored. This is part of the reason why so many employers actively go out of their way to recruit expats.

  55. SSM345 says:

    "1100 employers were now not meeting their obligations under the law."

    WTF!

    My employer must be the only Company in Cayman that is not on that list.

  56. Anonymous says:

    Every one of the delinquent employers should be hauled into court and fined. They should then have to pay the outstanding amounts as well as court costs and their licences to operate a business should be suspended until they put everything right.

    • Anonymous says:

      Again.. The numbers… Our courts can't handle that! Suggest a way that is more realistic at least… Geeze!

      • Anonymous says:

        Set up a special Court. Deal with 10 a day. Done in 3 years. Make thoseguilty pay the costs of their prosecution. The cases are easy. it is a strict liability offence and the paperwork speaks for itself.

    • Foreign Devil says:

      Yeah that will be realy good for the economy!

  57. Anonymous says:

    This really is a disgrace that it is not being followed up on. Yet, people are expected to leave the island knowing that employers still owe them money. What chance do they have of getting it back?

    Taking employees money like this is stealing and should be treated as such. These employers should be closed down until they can make their payments current and with interest. Why is XXXX still operating when everyone knows he hasn't paid pension for years.

     

  58. Foreign Devil says:

    This whole pension scheme needs to be abandoned, we are a tax free low regulation 

    juristriction and everyone should be responsible for putting away money for their own future.

    it was a bad idea poorly executed.

  59. Anonymous says:

    This is the same private sector that Alden is looking to for future job growth. Don't you see that the man is delusional.

  60. Anonymous says:

    I know our company pays (financial services) as we get statements from the pension company, if others are doing as alleged then that is immoral behaviour and should be fined, and in cases where they took 5% from the employees wage and did not pay it in to the pension system, they should be jailed. But once again, where the hell is the enforcement???? Laws with no teeth are not laws at all, just bits of paper

  61. Anonymous says:

    I know of a certain "wannabe" politician who is guilty of this very same thing and when one of  his workers was about to leave the island and threatened to expose him he quickly paid up.

  62. Anonymous says:

    Please also publish how delinquent Gov't is with pension for CS workers as far as I know they don't even recieve statements.

    • Anonymous says:

      True, 15:02, but at least Government does pay its pensions. The lack of statements should be investigated as the Public Service Pensions Board clearly is not doing what it is supposed to be doing. But they are at least not defrauding future pensioners.