Silver Thatch gives clients control

Silver Thatch Pension Plan has announced it has obtained regulatory approval from the Cayman Islands National Pensions Office to launch its new Profiles portfolios in January 2005.

A first for a Caymanian pension plan, the Profiles approach replaces the traditional ‘one-size-fits-all’ investment fund with three new Profile portfolios: growth, balanced and conservative; each differentiated by the amount of investment risk it assumes.

Blair Brinkley, of Saxon Administration the client services agent to the Plan, said he was excited that the Profiles approach had received regulatory approval, as it would revolutionize the way pension plans were managed in the Cayman Islands, states a press release.

‘We’re about to embark on an exciting new chapter in the history of pension plans in Cayman. The Profile approach will make the Silver Thatch Plan more meaningful for members, giving them better risk management, greater control and flexibility when investing their retirement savings,’ he said.

‘All of our members are unique, they’re at different stages of their lives – some are just beginning their careers while others are nearing retirement, and each requires a different exposure to risk through equities’ Mr. Brinkley said.

‘What our members do have in common though is the need to save for a financially secure retirement and these new portfolios will contribute significantly to this need. By generally aligning younger members with a greater exposure to the potential returns of equities, we allow these members to build a larger capital base before we gradually reduce the risk and work to preserve that capital as they get closer to retirement.

‘Silver Thatch listens to its members. Over the past two years we have conducted extensive market research and the overwhelming message has been that our members want a pension plan that suits their individual circumstances – the new Profile portfolios is our answer to that request,’ he said.

Effective 1 January, basic plan contributions will be directed automatically to one or more of three Profile portfolios – which portfolio will depend on a member’s personal profile, namely age, income range and marital status.

‘As our members personal risk profiles changes over time, so too will their investment portfolio, ensuring all investments continue to reflect their current circumstances,’ Mr. Brinkley said.

The new plan also allows members to make additional voluntary contributions, choosing from any of five different Silver Thatch investment portfolios. These include the three ‘core’ portfolios, plus an ultra-conservative income portfolio designed to provide maximum security, and an aggressive growth portfolio designed to provide maximum returns.

‘Silver Thatch is more than a pension plan, it’s a flexible wealth management program that allows members to boost their retirement savings through additional voluntary contributions,’ Mr. Brinkley said.

‘AVCs put control directly in the hands of our members, they can start, stop or change the level of contributions at any time. Additionally, by offering the ultra conservative and aggressive growth portfolios, we are empowering members who make AVC’s to fundamentally shift the overall risk profile of their entire pension. At the same time, we all have busy lives and if members do not wish to take the time necessary to make informed investment decisions, the plan will continue to do this for them.’

Silver Thatch Profile portfolios are fund-of-funds managed by the Plan’s investment managers Coutts (Switzerland) Limited. Under the direction of Coutts, funds are allocated to a team of world-class investment firms such as Morgan Stanley, Schroder Investments, Merrill Lynch, Wellington, Alliance Bernstein, Jardine Fleming, Barclays and Legg Mason for management, increasing the diversification of the portfolio. The plan is administered locally and questions can be directed to the client services agent, Saxon Administration.

The Silver Thatch Pension Plan is a not-for-profit, membership controlled defined contribution pension plan designed to enable all Caymanians and residents to participate in a locally structured and managed retirement plan.

The plan is governed by a voluntary board of Trustees who are elected by the membership at the annual general meeting. It is compliant with the National Pensions Law (2000 Revision) and is formally registered with the Office of the Superintendent of Pensions.

For more information on the Silver Thatch Pension Plan call 943-7770 or visit on the web at www.silverthatch.org.ky.

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