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Premier Alden McLaughlin has indicated that government is considering an extension of the current pension holiday.

Implemented as a COVID-19-assistance measure, the moratorium is set to expire at the end of September.

It follows legislative changes earlier this year granting workers access to their private-sector pensions as temporary economic relief in the aftermath of the closure of local borders and subsequent rise in unemployment.

McLaughlin, when asked by the Cayman Compass last week about a possible extension, said at the time, “It is within our contemplation.”

The pension holiday, once enacted by the legislative changes, began automatically for all employers and employees, including self-employed people.

However, there have been employers and employees who have continued to make contributions, considered voluntary, over the pension-holiday period.

The suspension of the pension contributions took effect, retroactively, from 1 April to 30 Sept.

While the suspension of pension payments provided some relief, employers with delinquent contributions at the start of the holiday still remain liable for that amount plus the accrued interest.

Payments will be deferred for the period of the pension holiday, with the employer obligated to resume contributions once the moratorium has expired.

Under the amendments to the Pensions Law, eligible persons can withdraw from their private pension accounts up to 100% of the balance up to $10,000. Those with accounts in excess of that maximum can withdraw $10,000 and up to 25% of the remaining balance.

These withdrawals were projected to inject up to $500 million into the local economy.

Earlier this month, the Department of Labour and Pensions indicated that it was reviewing multiple pension plan administrators with regards to processing timelines for withdrawals to ensure they are in compliance with the National Pensions (Amendment) Law 2020.

The department, in a statement on the inquiry, said that the law mandates that an administrator who does not comply with the changes commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $10,000 or to imprisonment for one year, or both.

“While it is largely believed that a significant portion of the applications are being processed in a timely manner, where there are breaches of the timelines set out in the Law, DLP are actively preparing files to be submitted to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions,” the department had said.

No further updates on those inquiries have been released.

However, the department encourages any applicant who has a complaint in relation to their application being processed or whose application has been refused, to file a written appeal to the director, including their details along with supporting documents, and email them to [email protected].

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