Chamber warns of coercion over pension holiday

| 10/03/2010

(CNS): Following the recent move by government to remove the mandatory obligation for employers and employees to pay 10% of earnings into pension funds the Cayman Islands Chamber Pension Trustees have raised their concerns that employees may be forced to agree to employers stopping their pensions even though the new law says it must be voluntary.  The Chamber has also warned that regulating and managing this change in the law will prove problematic increasing the costs of pension administration as well as allowing more non-compliance.

 In a public statement the Chamber trustees said the move was not endorsed by them.

“It is our fear that the average worker may be coerced into taking the pension holiday without being properly educatedon how their decision may impact them financially. Although the election is discretionary and to be made by the employee, it is imperative that he or she is made fully aware of the fact that they are giving up the employer match of 5% of their income along with negatively impacting the growth of their retirement nest egg,” they stated.

The pension overseers also stated that the enforcement and regulation of the holiday would negatively contribute to the already growing issues of non-payment that are rampant within most plans on island. “Administration of such a change in the law will be challenge to say the least and in our opinion, could lead to much greater administration costs, therefore negatively impacting pension plan costs in general,” the trustees warned. They did however welcome the fine of CI$10,000 for those convicted on non-compliance.

“We urge plan members to educate themselves before rushing to any decision and to consult the Chamber Pension office should they have any questions,” the trustees added.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Of course the Chamber is going to complain don’t they provide pensions to people.  I myself have contributed to the Pension since the day it started and my employer contributed also on a timely basis.  When I received my statement I am losing money all the time.  So I am glad they have suspended.  I cannot understand how the bloggers are all for pension for anyone with a bit of common sense would see pensions are losing on a daily basis!!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    i agree! its disgusting what is happening right now, leave peoples rights alone and stop changing laws to suit your budget! Come on Guv’ner! Where are ya? Stand up for the people who pay for your nice house and car!

  3. Anonymous says:

    As usual the expatriates will get the blunt end on this. It will be the poorest workers that will lose their pensions, those that already get forced to pay for their own work permits, they will also be made to sign away their pensions, with the threat of getting fired. They know there are more poor desperate people willing to ndo the job for less.

    Obviously the weak don’t have any avenues for redress. They’d be fired if they complained to anybody and immigration would deport them if they dared complained about a Caymanian boss or Caymanian company.

  4. But then . . . says:

    But then these workers of whom you speak do not vote so what harm is there to the MLA’s?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Government and Immigration do not regulate the many foreign workers who now are forced by their employers to pay for their own Work Permit – just as Immigration now fails the foreign workers the Government and the Pension Office will fail to properly regulate this “Pension Holiday” nonsense.  I’ll bet you any money that thousands of workers will be forced, yes forced, to sign a document to state that they "want" to stop paying into pension.


    The Chamber Pension and all other pension plans should require all workers who apply to suspend their pension contribution to come into their offices for a one on one meeting before the pension plan signs off on the suspension.


    All MLA’s should be ashamed of this nonsense.


    Do they understand what they have done?


    • Anonymous says:

      I cant see what differene it makes. The pension Providers are sucking up everyones money on a monthly basis in the form of exorbitant fees. Now they are complaining because it affects their bottom line. They could not care less about the contributors welfare so long as they make their big monthly ripoff.

      Just try to get a current statement from any of the Providers and you bet the latest is about six months ago even though they have already collected and withdrawn their fees.

      • Anonymous says:

        I get my statement every 3 months.

      • CSI says:

        I get my pension statements semi-annually and can access an up to date statement any time on-line.  My last statement from Fidelity showed about a 30% gain for the last 12 months, despite the ridiculous restrictions on investments that are imposed by the National Pensions Law.  Pensions will go through periods where they lose money – it’s the nature of LONG TERM investing.  Dollar cost averaging – you keep contributing when markets are down as they were in late 2008 and early 2009.  Then when markets pick up as they did in the latter part of 2009 you gain more ground than you previously lost.  Over the long term you make more on your money, despite short term losses that inevitably will occur. 

    • Anonymous says:

      They don’t care – either of the parties. They don’t care about anybody – they just care about getting elected. You don’t have a change in leaders, they just change positions every four years. There really don’t care about the people that elect them even. They just blow smoke up their asses and tell them what they want to hear. The sad part is the electorate doesn’t see it. Of course there is such a small electorate here there is no such thing as fair voting based on the size of the population. You reap what you sow and sow what you reap.