Online Poll: Little faith in pension plans

More than two-thirds of the respondents to last week’s cayCompass.com online poll said they either don’t have much faith or no faith at all in their Cayman Islands pension plans. 

Of the 492 respondents, the largest segment of them – 167 people or 33.9 per cent – said they have no faith at all in their pension plan. 

“I put my money in, my employer put money in and five years later I got half of what was put in out,” said one person. “Do you call that working?” 

“It’s not nearly as much fun as gambling, but it gives me the same result: a big loss,” said someone else. “I guess someone is having fun playing with my money though.” 

“I am writing the money off and don’t expect anything in return in the future,” said another respondent. “I wish I could take the money out and purchase more property as an investment.” 

“My pension plan has lost about 20 per cent of the funds that I have been forced to pay in over the past nine years,” commented one person. “It’s an absolute disgrace.” 

“The pension system needs to be revised,” said someone else. “Contributions should not be paid out to anyone until they are 65 years old. Hundreds of individuals, both expats and Caymanians, are allowed to get their contribution, once they can show proof that they now reside in another jurisdiction.” 

Almost as many respondents – 166 people or 33.8 per cent – said they hadn’t too much faith in their pension plan. 

“I strongly believe we should keep a close eye on these companies running the funds,” said one person. “There are some strange things going on.” 

“Every statement I receive the funds keep decreasing instead of increasing as is expected,” said someone else.  

“This answer would be the same in almost any country considering the state of the global economy,” said another person. “This is not just a Cayman problem.” 

Another 69 respondents – 14 per cent – said they had some faith in their pension plan. 

“I think it does a decent job of managing the funds despite the turmoil in the global financial world, but it does bother me when I send e-mails with questions that aren’t even responded to,” said one person. 

“The guidelines are way too restrictive as to what and in which countries investments can be made,” said someone else. “This is not a plea for investments in Cayman Islands government financed affordable housing, rather for a wider geographic mandate for the fund managers.” 

“People need to understand that the minimum contributions will not likely provide them with the retirement they anticipate,” commented one person. 

“I left island and cashed it in, thank goodness,” said someone else.  

Only 34 people – 6.9 per cent – said they had very much faith in their pension plan. 

“The money held should be invested here in Cayman,” said one person. 

Four people – 0.8 per cent – responded ‘other’ to the question.  

“Mine is held overseas,” said one person. 

“I’m not sure,” commented someone else. “I finally found employment in February of this year. Honestly, I do not understand too much about the pension plan.” 

 

Next week’s poll question 

Do you support organ transplants in the Cayman Islands? 

Yes, but only from living donors 

Yes, but only from non-living donors 

Yes, from both living and non-living donors 

No (write reason in comments)  

I don’t know 

Online poll April 15

3 COMMENTS

  1. I wrote this below in reference to an article posted this morning about the holiday for pensions being suspended. I thought it relevant and wanted to re-post here:

    There are two quotes in this article I would like to highlight;

    I’m not surprised that a lot of Caymanians did not take it up, Mr. Anglin said in 2011. They are making long-term plans as opposed to expatriate workers who may only stay here for seven years.

    Under the Cayman Islands National Pensions Law, the company and its employees are required to make contributions to a retirement scheme

    I believe that within this article it has clearly been stated; it is relatively pointless for expats to be forced to pay in to a scheme in which will never be beneficial to them whilst on island, as stated expats can only stay for seven years- which does not allow for retirement.

    Instead- what happens when expats leave at their own will or are required to leave by the Roll Over Policy, the money that they have been required to pay into said Pension Funds remains on island. The National Pension Laws state that expats can only apply to receive their funds once they have been off island for 2 years.

    Expats are often left starting their lives over, in far away countries with thousands sitting in pension funds in Cayman that they can not touch for years.

    I do agree that the pension plan works well for Caymanians, PR and all else who can stay the remainder of their lives on the beautiful islands.

    However, I don’t see the point for expats to pay into a retirement plan in a country that they can never retire in. Only, to leave and jump through hoops to get their money in the long run, if at all..

    Cayman’s workforce population has become transient; with more workers than ever having to leave the country without benefiting from its pension plan.

    I ask- who is it that actually benefits from this scheme?

  2. There is definitely either something untoward or plain incompetence in the organisations that control the pension plans. The comment about the fact that we are in a poor economic state and it would be the same in the rest of the world is utter rubbish, if that is the case they should invest in low risk investments with small growth or put the money in a bank! at least the only losses we’d be seeing would be those made bu inflation. It would seem to me as if there is more going on than meets the eye, how much of this money is being paid to the people that ‘manage’ it. I say mangage is the loosest of terms as in my view reducing peoples pensions year after year is not management, or at the very least poor management, which in a PLC would lead to sackings. Low risk investment is not rocket science but are these ‘managers’ taking far too many risks as its not their money and they get paid well anyway only to be paid better if their risks come off (which it would appear is never). I for one could manage my pension is a much better fashion or at the very least could put it under the mattress, which would mean it would far outperform these schemes! Lets not even get started on why it is a worker with no prospect (by Law) of ever being in this country at retirment age has to pay into to a loosing scheme that doesn’t benefit them in any way…..who is benefitting here? an investigation is needed.

  3. I recently got my pension account statement, and it’s worth 20% less than the money I contributed. Forget inflation, cost of living adjustments, interestit’s thousands less than I put into it. So if I tucked the money under my mattress, I would have more than I do now.

    These brokers claim that the laws are out of date so they can’t invest the money the way they would like, and point a finger at the world economy and say we lost less money than the other guy, so give me a pat on the back. All while wearing a 2,000 suit and smiling.

    Overall I support a pension fund and I am glad people are forced to save for retirement; otherwise they would not do it, myself included. If there is no pension, people eventually retire and they are broke, then the burden will fall on government to provide for them. But the clowns managing these funds need a serious wakeup call.

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