Business in brief

National Pensions Office meets plan administrators

The National Pensions Office, a division of the Department of Labour and Pensions, held a meeting with representatives of the six multi-employer pension plan administrators (MEPPAs) to reinstitute a protocol of regular meetings and contacts between the regulator and the registered pension administrators.

There are 16 registered employer pension plan administrators in the Cayman Islands, 10 of which are known as single-employer pension plan administrators and six MEPPAs, which include the Chamber of Commerce Pension Plan, Silver Thatch Pension Plan, Britcay/Colonial, Fidelity Pension Plan, Cayman National Trust Pension Plan, and BAF Cayman Pension Plan (an offshoot of the former BAICO pension plan).

Mario Ebanks, acting superintendent of pensions, and the team from the NPO met with MEPPA representatives to address operational issues in relation to reporting and administering of programs such as the Housing Withdrawal Program and Retirement Savings Arrangements.

Delinquency reporting, and joint efforts that are needed to deal with employers who are in arrears with pensions contributions were also discussed. These approaches include inter-agency cooperation and data sharing among counterpart regulators, the leveraging of technology, working with employers to arrange and monitor payment plans, and enforcement through the courts.

Other agenda items were policy matters, pension supervision issues around annual audits and public awareness campaigns to emphasize the importance of retirement planning.

According to a press statement by the Department of Labour and Pensions, one important outcome of the meeting was the agreement between the NPO and the MEPPAs to revive the Administrator’s Advisory Committee for the primary purpose of public education and awareness, as well as being a united voice to bring issues and solutions to the attention of regulators.

A similar arrangement will also be sought with the single-employer pension plan administrators, where possible and appropriate, the department said.

Appleby advised Butterfield on HSBC acquisition

Offshore law firm Appleby acted as Cayman Islands legal counsel for long-standing client, The Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son Ltd, in connection with the purchase of certain corporate and retail banking assets in the Cayman Islands from HSBC Bank (Cayman) Ltd.

Simon Raftopoulos, Appleby partner and global head of private equity, said, “Cayman is an important financial jurisdiction for Butterfield. This acquisition further enhances Butterfield’s position as a leader in financial services in the Cayman Islands and, in particular, will strengthen its community banking market presence.”

HSBC decided to sell about US$800 million in corporate and retail banking assets as a result of a strategic review. The transfer of the assets is scheduled to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2014.

DCI is temporarily closing to relocate office

The Department of Commerce and Investment is relocating, and to facilitate the move, both its main office and first-floor public counter in the Government Administration Building will close at noon Thursday through Friday.

The department will reopen July 21. While its first-floor counter will remain in General Registry, its main office will then be on the second floor of the Government Administration Building.

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