Group to analyse civil service pension freeze

| 13/08/2009

(CNS): Following the announcement by Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush of a freeze in pension contribution’s for civil servants, the Chief Secretary’s Office which has responsibility for civil service matters, has established a working group to implement the temporary suspension chaired by Deputy Chief Secretary Franz Manderson. The group comprises representatives from the Portfolio of the Civil Service, the Cayman Islands Civil Service Association (CICSA), the Legal Department, the Public Service Pension Board and the Portfolio of Finance.

A government statement released on Wednesday said that before the end of this month the group will advise Cabinet regarding the implications of suspended pension payments, as well as any legislation changes that will be required to implement the suspension measure. Manderson said that he wanted to make it clear that the proposals being developed do not include adjustments to the benefits of existing pensioners.

The pension payments holiday, as it was described by Bush, could save the government around $40 million in expenditure for the 2009/10 financial year and make a significant impact on the expected operating deficit.

Bush has also said he has asked the ministry with responsibility for labour to look into a pensions payment holiday for the private sector to release compliant employers temporarily from their legal obligation to pay pensions for staff, which while not impacting government’s deficit  but would stimulate the economy, Bush said .

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  1. Anonymous says:


    In reply to the posting on Friday at 11:38 – yes it is true.  Sadly, when you bring up subjects like this to the Supervisory/Ministry level, they want you to just be quiet like a good, little puppet on-a-string civil servant.  That is why you see so many anonymous postings on CNS. 

    If you doubt me, then do A Freedom of Information request.

    Government pays way too much for health insurance!  And as stated before, they need to honour their contractual obligations to all employees. 

    It is too bad that Kurt and Moses did not pay attention to Government spending and revenue – they should have used an approach similar to how they are making money from real estate (come on now you know Government built the roads to coincedentally go through land that they were developing – LOL). 

    Sign Me,

    My Peace and Love to Kurt and Moses, unna got tough skin protected by layers of money but unna need to think about where your soul is going when your days on earth are over.

  2. Anonymous says:

    To: Why don’t you experts look into the extremely high CINICO premiums that Government pays on behalf of civil servants – over CI $700 for a couple and over CI $1,000 for a family.  Talk about crazy, I know private sector employees who have plans well below these costs – how come the private sector can do it and government can’t?  Simple – bureaucracy

    What??!!! This cannot not be true?? At our company our premiums are as follows:

    Two people – $560 staff pays 30% Employer pays 70%

    Family – $750 staff pays 30% Employer pays 70%

    These are the kinds of things that truly piss me off. Just wasting money with no real benefits. I am sure if you asked there would be more civil servants willing to contribute and pay their way to more credible health insurance companies and pensions providers than the completely failing ones on offer now. Lets get on the same page and find true ways of saving the country money instead of these smoke screens like pension holidays which will only be detrimental in the long term.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Did someone say that Cayman could not mortgage its future? See:

    This sure looks like its mortgaging the future of our grandchildren and great-grandchildren to me.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Is Cayman really a global financial centre??  If so, surely a more sophisticated plan could be developed to increase government’s income and reduce it spending rather than take the saving of the poor defenseless civil servants. 

    The mark of a civilisied society is that they take care of  their most vulnerable and defenseless.  History will note that in a time when customs duties were waived for the rich ‘croonies’such as the Ritz and ‘fat’ consuting contracts were also handed out to other ‘croonies’, the savings of the poor is taken away.  Clearly not a very civilised society!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    HANDS OFF PENSIONS!!  People do not be FOOLED into thinking that this latest move will save government any money.  It is only delaying or ‘deferring’ the cash payments that is due to the pension fund.  This is effectively borrowing from the pension savings of civil servants over the forseeable future.  Like any loan this money should be repaid but with interest.  However in this case the borrower (government) has not even asked the lender (civil servants) for their approval, has not promised to pay any interest  and, most important, has not shown how they will repay the money.  No respectable bank would/should ever lend money without the borrower showing their projected cash flows and how the money will be repaid.  This is clearly irresponsible!! 

  6. Anonymous1 says:

    Do the employees have a choice? in government and otherwise? I want my pension paid.

  7. Anonymous says:


    Government needs to honour its Contractual Commitments to those who signed fixed-term contracts with clearly defined benefits.  Not making contributions is a violation of Contract terms.

    For those who want to voluntarily give up their pension contributions and participate in a pension holiday – let them do it. 

    It is hard enough on the civil servants who are already censored and gagged from freedom of speech – and now they do not have any voice on their own personal benefits packages!!!!??????

    Why don’t you experts look into the extremely high CINICO premiums that Government pays on behalf of civil servants – over CI $700 for a couple and over CI $1,000 for a family.  Talk about crazy, I know private sector employees who have plans well below these costs – how come the private sector can do it and government can’t?  Simple – bureaucracy!

    Why don’t you experts give civil servants a choice of health plans to pick from, either CINICO or one from the private sector –  now that my dear bureaucratic friends would save Government $$$

    Sign Me,

    Forced to Bow, but not quite completely broken . . . . .yet.

    P.S.  Hey what happened to Kurt, Alden, Arden, Moses and Anthony – are their opinions and views being censored by Government?  Surely they must have an opinion about the economic situation that their government put us in? What about Chuckie and Osbourne? What unna did with them?

    Oh yeah, almost forgot I did seeMoses on a video at – unna need to check it out he talks about our mandated Government surplus!  Guess Kurt missed that one.



  8. Ray says:

    A pension holiday is crazy. How about amending the requirement to start paying pensions for foreign workers from 9 months to 2 years, unless the worker wishes to start at the earlier time? For both Government & the private sector and not just for a few months.

    I would guess that most foreign workers would probably opt for the 2 years. That way they get to make a little more by keeping their contribution and may decide during that time that 2 years isenough time here or that they don’t like the job, etc. and return home. If they decide to stay then they would know that they missed 2 years of contibutions voluntarily and comence payments after that time. The employer would obviously save their contributions over the 2 years. Maybe the employer decides that the employee is not up to scratch and so choses not to renew their contract/permit etc. so neither side loses.

    This would also reduce the amount of paperwork in the pension firms for short term employees – signing them up, recording a few payments and then processing them out of the plan in a short period of time. Freeing them up to deal properly with the long term employees.

    After all, the mandatory pension plan was instituted for workers who intend to retire here, so that they have some retirement income and Govt. has less potential to have to support them. Myself included. Therefore a person here for 24 months or less should not be included.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ive actually never viewed this that way.

      Good point.

      • Anonymous Of Course it's Cayman says:

        Foreign workers, as you put it, who make up more than 95% of some sectors of the civil service on the island view the pension plan as essential in two ways – it makes up for the shortfall from opting out of their original government pension plan for 2-7 years (if rolled over) and can be reinvested or it provides an income upon leaving the island that is a part of the contractually agreed salary, thereby compensating for one of the highest costs of living in the western world whilst living and working in Cayman.

        I do not understand how breaking the terms of a fixed term contract is legal. It is certainly not moral.

        But Cayman does not permit dissent. What kind of a political regime does that make the islands?

        This decision beggars belief and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office UK should get involved from a legal point of view.