Editorial for September 14: Pension plans in dire straights

Our complaints commissioner is
calling a spade a spade in her report about this country’s private sector
pension system.

According to Nicola Williams, the
system is “one of the most pressing and obvious examples of a systemic failure
by a government entity.”

We agree.

It’s taken her office eight months
to review Cayman’s National Pensions Law and its regulatory system.

On the surface, the law is good. It
requires companies to pay into pension schemes on behalf of their employees so
that those workers will have a nest egg to fall back on for expenses after
retirement.

Many companies in the Cayman
Islands follow the letter of the law. But many others do not.

And that’s where things get messy.

Companies and employers who don’t
pay into any pension scheme for their employers are rarely prosecuted because
of enforcement failures.

What’s worse are the companies that
purport to pay in to a pension programme and take their employees’
contributions for the scheme, but don’t pay; keeping the employees’
contribution for themselves. That’s downright stealing. At the heart of the
matter is our political leadership. Our lawmakers have the authority to make
the necessary changes but haven’t.

She’s made some excellent
suggestions. We hope our lawmakers will discuss and act.

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