More than two thirds of the
respondents to last week’s caycompass.com online poll support the idea of
allowing at least some people to withdraw money from their government-required
pension plan to buy land or a home in the Cayman Islands.
Of the 529 respondents, 250 of them
– 47.3 per cent – believe the option should be open to Caymanians as well as
“By withdrawing funds to purchase
land or a home, the person is essentially making a decision to invest a portion
of his/her assets in real estate,” said one person. “There is no inherent
reason why investment in stocks or bonds, as made through a pension fund,
should have any higher priority under the law than investment in real estate or
other investment options.”
“Better than losing it all in the
stock market where our pension administrators are putting our hard earned
money,” said someone else.
“Do this and we most likely will
buy here,” said another respondent.
“I think Caymanians and expats
should both have the option to do this, but only for the building or purchase
or building of a home or apartment, but not just raw land,” said one person.
Forty-seven people – 8.9 per cent –
supported the idea, but only for Caymanians.
‘This option should only be
implemented in order to ensure that Caymanians have the opportunity and
resources to own their own homes,” said one person. “It is disgraceful that so
many Caymanians are not in control of their own financial destiny. Home ownership
will help them get on that road if they manage their resources more wisely.”
Another 59 people – 11.2 per cent –
supported the idea, but only for Caymanians who didn’t already own their own
land or home.
There was a strong element of
opposition to the idea as well, with 158 people – 29.9 per cent – saying no to
“It’s a quick-fix idea, an easy
short-term option,” said one respondent. “But what happens in the long run when
they have no pension money to retire on?”
“It may benefit people on a short
term basis, but there are a lot of young people who would like to buy homes and
simply wouldn’t qualify because they haven’t accumulated enough in their
pensions as yet to use,” said someone else. “It would only benefit people late
30s and up, and the down side to it is that they won’t be able to recuperate
the withdrawn money in time for retirement.”
“All this is going to do is build a
problem on top of another problem,” said another person. “What will happen when
the funds aren’t there for those who are retiring and need their pension funds?
This isn’t the answer to the problem – it’s only extending it.”
Fifteen people – 2.7 per cent –
answered “I don’t know” to the poll question.
“Expats should not have to pay into
a pension since they are going to be rolled over,” said one person.