CIG doubts validity of pension exodus

| 28/08/2017 | 88 Comments

(CNS): Premier Alden McLaughlin said his government has no basis to believe there will be an exodus of workers in December as a result of the changes to the pensions law. He said no submissions had been made to government about this potential exodus, which he said was purely speculative, and no data to support it had been presented to government. He said he believed that ex-pat workers would still need to wait for two years to access their pension payments in a cash lump sum, which would mitigate against people leaving en masse. And even if they do leave, he said, plans were already underway to address the concerns surrounding the work permit process. 

The Unity government rejected a private member’s motion last week from Alva Suckoo, the opposition member for Newlands, who called on government to make special preparations to deal with the potential exodus and ensure that locals were trained and prepared to secure the available vacancies that would be created before granting a mass of new permits.

McLaughlin said that his ministry was already doing most of the things in the motion and there was no need for more policies or directives, as the law is already clear. He said that government was already working to improve enforcement issues because everyone knows that there are concerns about the advertising process for jobs and permits. But he said government was already making plans for it to be mandatory for job vacancies to go through the government’s new human resources agency, placing all jobs in one place.

“Government is pressing on with trying to improve the overall job market and availability,” he said. When it’s created, the new agency will be responsible for issuing permits and will play a key role in the goal of full employment among Caymanians, he said, adding that plans to reform the immigration law and regulations as well as the department were well underway and would allow government to deal with the issue if the exodus happened.

While Suckoo welcomed the government’s plans to improve the immigration system, he said the heart of the motion was the need for data. He said all he wanted was for government to ask the business community how many people are leaving and get them to begin advertising the jobs locally as soon as possible to start a recruitment drive and where necessary provide training to get them ready. Suckoo said something had to be done and it would be far better than waiting for the problem to arrive, when, because of the needs of the business community in high season, a block of temporary permits would be issued.

He said the Chamber of Commerce was the main organisation making the claims and government should sit down with them and find out. Suckoo pointed out that if the Chamber could not demonstrate what is fueling their concerns, then the government could perhaps take the position of wait and see, but waiting for it to happen before consulting with the Chamber could mean a missed opportunity to address the potential problem before it happens.

“I urge extreme caution as Caymanians really don’t need another hurdle placed in front of them when it comes to finding employment in this country,” Suckoo said. “I am a bit disappointed that government is not going to at least consider what I have recommended.”

But the deputy opposition leader said he was getting used to the rejection of his ideas, as he accused the government of deliberately punishing him and his constituents.

See full debate on CIGTV below.

Tags: , , ,

Category: Policy, Politics

Comments (88)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. OnMyWay says:

    I’m about to enter the Cayman Expat community. I guess I can now consider this new pension rule as a 10% tax on my salary.




    2



    1
  2. Anonymous says:

    One thing for sure. This very much effects how I think of Caymanians. I used to have some respect for them when I got here but the longer I stay the more disrespect I see for not only expats but other Caymanians as well. Hard to feel respect for that which is openly disrespectful.




    2



    2
  3. Anonymous says:

    Anyone who wants to leave their pension in or have a pension in Cayman is stupid along with owning property here. Just one bad hurricane Ivan more or an island collapsing into the ocean and Cayman is under water and gone along with your house and money. This is not a maybe it is a given, it is just a matter of when. So if you want security, take your money out of here so your pension doesn’t sink along with the island to nothing.




    5



    2
    • Anonymous says:

      Yes. Invest it into a big Country like Texas USA. Little hurricanes don’t happen there at all. I hear them say “everything’s bigger in Texas”.
      People like you is what cause problem for other good Expats.




      0



      0
  4. Anonymous says:

    Such drama queens. People will leave so what, we will miss you when you gone and Cayman may be wobbly for a month or two but life goes on with or without you and there will be a huge influx of new expat workers wanting beach and sun and will fill up the empty apartments and not care about pension laws. Oh and immigration will be so inundated with new work permits that PR will get the back burner yet again with more whining on delays. Oh this story is so predictable I could write it myself. Oh I just did! Oh the whining of first world problems or are we really third world?




    6



    6
  5. Anonymous says:

    If expats leave, more will come to take their place. Regardless of the whinging and whining of the expats on this page, Cayman continues to draw foreign workers like flies to honey. Where else do they have it so good? If it was so great in their home countries, they would not be here! My only concern is filling some of those soon to be vacant jobs with Caymanians first before we recruit new employees from elsewhere.




    3



    1
    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman’s attractions will disappear if Ezzard keeps up his independence talk.




      2



      0
      • Anonymous says:

        &:36 am, why so foolish, Self government is Not independene, it will be like Bermuda, which is a better Government than here.




        0



        2
    • Fred the Piemaker says:

      This I gather, is why Suckoo brought the motion, sad the Government couldnt see that




      0



      0
  6. Anonymous says:

    They have the timing all wrong if they would like to receive a full lump sum of their pensions they would need to terminate before October 31, 2017 so that they would meet the criteria to receive their pensions before December 31, 2019 as per the new changes of the law.




    3



    0
    • Anonymous says:

      No that is not correct, once they leave by Dec 31 they can get their pension in cash two yrs after




      2



      0
      • Anonymous says:

        Britcay confirmed the timing to me. That is where I got my information from. Be sure to check with your pension company as the process may differ.




        1



        0
  7. Anonymous says:

    One




    0



    1
  8. Anonymous says:

    Our company has already lost 1 employee due to this and is losing another very important employee at the end of the year because, as he said, ‘he either leaves now and gets his pension or gambles and goes for PR with the most likely result of not getting it and then having his pension tied up’. I am also considering leaving the Jurisdiction and I have PR as the climate here has become toxic. YA YA I know you are saying good riddance but eventually people will wake up to and see the hurt that isolationism and prejudism has caused them.




    20



    8
    • Anonymous says:

      Please remember that unfortunately some of what is going on is a response to prejudice against Caymanians. I hope that you will see that, and if your heart is in the right place, stay and feel welcomed.




      1



      4
      • Michael says:

        We like to use the words “welcome”, and “Cayman kind, but, welcome is as welcome felt! With apologies to Forrest Gump!




        2



        0
  9. Anonymous says:

    Cayman is an attractive market to work in as long as employees earn enough of a premium for having to work in it. The changes to the pension law have gouged out much of that premium.




    18



    9
  10. Anonymous says:

    Alden is gambling. While there has been some people vocal about leaving there is no evidence that everyone will. But there’s also no evidence that this will not happen and there will be a shortage of employees come January.




    6



    4
  11. Anonymous says:

    I will be gone by the end of the year because of this. My job will not be replaced by a Caymanian. I will simply do the same job from another country, one that welcomes the $100,000 plus that I spend on rent, food, gas, insurance, multiple government fees, restaurants, etc. my life will not change, but multiply my spending by hundreds of people, it adds up. Sorry Cayman, this is the last straw. This island is slipping away at a rapid pace. You will probably want to kick me in the ass and say no problem we don’t need you. Correct you don’t, but remember, many of us don’t need you either. Do not say we love your tax fee environment because after fees, duties and general gouging, this is a more expensive “net cost” jurisdiction than heavily taxed “real” countries. I work in about 20 countries around the Caribbean. Cayman was a jewel, but not any more. 5 to 10 years and it will be Antigua, Trinidad or Jamaica. So sad. Good luck, you truly need it.




    42



    9
    • Anonymous says:

      you are absolutely right. I




      13



      2
    • Anonymoushould says:

      If you are spending 100,000 per year ( I assume) you would have no need to leave to secure your pension funds because you would have to be in a very high bracket with lots of savings and if necessary would have no problem transferring it to another fund in your home country.




      12



      14
      • Anonymous says:

        My pension investments are all safely invested. I do not need my Cayman funds to secure my retirement income, that’s already done. I plan(ned) to use these funds for other things. You are correct, I earn well, have invested well for many years, and I don’t plan to leave money here at risk. I will use the money to invest somewhere else that does not want to control me.




        8



        0
    • Anonymous says:

      By the time my countrymen and women realize we need smarter people running the show, it may be too late. We do it to ourselves.




      23



      1
    • Anonymous says:

      A co-worker of mine left a few months ago, but she is working for the same company from her home country.




      6



      0
  12. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard Jr. LOL




    13



    5
    • Anonymous says:

      You say that like its a bad thing! Ezzard, Alva, Tony and Arden are the only 4 in the LA we can count on to stand up for us.




      11



      15
  13. Anonymous says:

    Give your head a shake, anyone earning 60k a year, who has been here 6 or 7 years and is under 40, and not thinking about applying for residency is looking long and hard about deciding to leave a couple of years early.




    21



    0
    • Anonymous says:

      The catalyst for departure is never just one thing, like the closing of the pension window. It’s the exhausting cascade of unforeseen “spiritual taxes exacted” that are not part of the recruitment brochures: abuse/extortion, reinvigorated pervasive xenophobia, crazed tailgaters, brazen thefts, arsonists, and politically immune drug dealers, rape/home invasion risk, damage to property, expense of legal recourse, colluding politicians, ineffectual police – the sum of these are a degraded quality of life, that outweigh the parrots and coconut trees. For those that were raised right, the ambient catalog will be sufficient to fatigue the most enduring of hopeful and good souls. The pensions part is just one more thing that serves to accelerate the timeline for an understandable inevitability. Cayman needs to get it’s act together in many respects beyond the pensions law, if we are to attract and retain necessary talent and industries.




      25



      2
  14. Anonymous says:

    Well I’m going and so is my family. There’s 2. And I know of 3 more going. And I know at least 2 or 4 talking seriously about it. So that’s 5 for sure, maybe 9. Now if everyone knows a few of similar numbers it won’t take long to become an exodus. No body is going to say anything before they have to which is like a months notice max, certainly in the type of job that is going to be affected. It ain’t gonna be the partners at the law firms for sure.




    23



    2
    • Anonymous says:

      Everybody knows 3, or 5, or 9 people leaving. And we can’t all be talking about the same people.

      And with the shake up of somewhere between 100 and a 1000 folks leaving, people switching apartments, it will be the middle class Caymanian landlords holding the bag with their empty apartments and bills to pay.

      It will be the small Caymanian owned businesses that lose a worker or two, some customers directly, and more Caymanian customers indirectly.

      A shrinking population is not a good thing..




      21



      2
      • Anonymous says:

        10.11 am, every country that is over populated things is bad there ( check it out) and countries that is under populated like Australia, Canada are during great. Cayman in the eight’s and ninety’s was better off with half the population of now. Everyone was working, no one losing their houses and a very low crime rate.




        1



        5
    • Anonymous says:

      Well I already left with my three family members. It was the xenophobia, PR mess and daily frustrations that made us start thinking about it but it was the pensions thing that did it. Two professionals paying into a pension for 7 years amounts to a lot. Five other families we were friends with are here or coming soon for the same reasons.

      One of the best things about working in Cayman is knowing that you will get a payout two years after you leave. That’s a house deposit or money to buy your own business etc. and it’s a big big part of people’s post roll-over planning.




      8



      0
      • Anonymous says:

        To be fair you shouldn’t be using a pension to cash out and put all that money in one investment.




        0



        1
  15. Anonymous says:

    Most professionals and executives are required to give 3 months’ notice. Other workers one month or less depending on their contracts. In other words it’s doubtful that anyone intending to leave has yet given notice to their employers. They will take advantage of this time to make preparation and only give notice in time to leave by the deadline.




    22



    2
  16. Anonymous says:

    Call Bermuda, Turks&Caicos Bahamas Immigration Ministers explain your story they will be able to give you advice, put down pride and you will see how effective their system is. Stop whining , follow suit!




    19



    12
  17. Anonymous says:

    The lady that cuts my thinning hair is leaving. I think there is a message screw up. It seems your money is safe if you transfer to another pension scheme. For Europeans that’s ok, but even then messages need to be sent for understanding. She wants her cash, I get that, you have to explain things properly, otherwise people will panic




    29



    0
    • Anon says:

      The sad thing is anyone who stays can say goodbye to their pensions. It will eventually be ‘ absorbed’ by CIG using some made up law for the benefit of the under provided for civil service pensions. This I have heard from Lawyers ( who are leaving by the way because of this strong possibility ).

      Also, anyone who does not move to US , Canada or UK will have huge issues transferring to a pension plan anywhere else. It’s already been said by the pension administrators that they will only transfer to major recognised funds in large countries. So anyone from Philippines, India, etc etc etc really need to leave before December in order to ever see their money again.

      It’s sad to think there will be a lot of people that will never be informed of this or don’t read CNS etc to be fore warned and will get a truly nasty surprise.




      16



      5
  18. Anonymous says:

    this new pensions law is a crock of ….. not to mention the organization itself witch is screwing up our hard earned money.




    33



    8
    • Anonymous says:

      3:14 pm,Go home and earn lots of hard working money, you sounds like you don’t really want to be. here, you can get big pension there i suppose.




      14



      32
      • Anonymous says:

        4:32 or you could actually have a look at the new law and see if as a Caymanian it benefits you in anyway. Or anyone at all for that matter. And if you can’t see it benefiting any individual contributors.. Then why was it passed?




        23



        3
      • Anonymous says:

        I am actually aborn tumanyan 5th generation mr. Know know-it-all




        2



        1
  19. Fred the Piemaker says:

    “I am a bit disappointed that government is not going to at least consider what I have recommended.” Wow. That’s telling them, Alva. They must be trembling in their shoes at that verbal broadside. Can hardly wait to see what happens when you are really disappointed, or even rather upset.




    20



    3
    • Anonymoushould says:

      What do you want him to say, you want him to start cussing and get in a fist fight with the Premier. Anyone who know Alva at all should realise that he is not a loudmouth. He is an articulate intelligent gentleman and not a noise maker, .you go back and make your pies.




      12



      6
    • Anonymoushould says:

      Al, of course the Premier will reject your suggestions because you dare to have somerhing original and intelligent to say. He likes people who shake their heads yes, and go along blindly swallowing his stupidness hook line and sinker!! A bunch of nimbles if you ask me. They were so bombastic on the election trail now not a whimper out of them. John-John was going to stop work permits, which by the way, was so idiotic. CAymanians need a chance for jobs, but he must be the only one who thought we could halt all work permits Can’t remember what Austin had to say, but I know he was making a lot of noise. I have heard that this is the Premier last term, he will work very hard these next four years, but it will be trying to please Big Mac and keep his coilition super PAC together. Who would have ever thought they would live to see the day!!




      11



      1
  20. Anonymous says:

    Those who leave should not be allowed to return.




    18



    47
    • Anonymous says:

      Idiot!




      34



      11
      • Anonymous says:

        Why? If you come back with no pension and get to remain, who will take care of you in your retirement? Before you say that does not happen, check social services and ask what portion of the beneficiaries of their largesse have not always been Caymanian.

        If people cash out their pensions and leave, they should at least have to replenish their fund as a condition of coming back.




        8



        12
        • Anonymous says:

          Zero portion of the beneficiaries are non-Caymanian. Zero. NAU intake form, line 3, requires proof of CAYMANIAN / STATUS HOLDER / SPOUSE OF CAYMANIAN. There goes that theory.




          6



          3
          • Anonymous says:

            Proof? First there is no difference between a Caymanian and a status holder. The fact that they distinguish means they have no idea even what a Caymanian is. Newsflash – Spouses of Caymanians are not Caymanians (unless they are Caymanian! – which must mean they have status)




            3



            0
          • Jotnar says:

            Poster did say “have not always been Caymanian” – inferring its paper Caymanians who are adding to the NAU list. Of course, they are slightly overstating the realistic chances of someone who returns having reset their residence clock then staying a further 9 years, getting PR, staying a further 6 and getting status, and despite the challenges of getting PR and status without having built up the financial means for self support.




            1



            0
          • Anonymous says:

            A lot of people getting social services , money, rent, food, light/power bill are expats that came here less than 20 years ago, Why give people status to people that down the road the Government/tax payers have to support them. crazy, stupid and very foolish.




            3



            1
          • Anonymous says:

            It said “have not always been Caymanian,” i.e. IMPORTED POVERTY




            5



            0
  21. Anonymous says:

    This is not speculation. Severla times a day I hear long time residents talking that they wont be here after December because of this rule




    47



    10
  22. Anonymous says:

    In other words they have no idea! No research was done or thought given to the consequences before the rule change was passed into law. Maybe there will be an economically devastating exodus, maybe not. Don’t ask them.




    38



    5
    • Anonymous says:

      Alden you are a idiot. I have a staff of 60 employees and approximately 25 employees have handed in their resignation and will be leaving due to the Pension. I believe this will put a BIG STRAIN ON COMPANIES, which some may even shut down




      47



      16
  23. Anon says:

    Ha ha ha Idiot! Just wait.

    What exactly do you think people are doing, handing in notices before they have to, telling their bosses they are leaving , nope!. In most cases , especially in service industry it’s less than 2 weeks. The cut off is December. People will hand notice in late November / early December and be gone before deadline.

    Anyway, Cayman, reap what you sow. Wanna hate on expats and drive us out , you wish will come.

    Can’t wait for my pension back and out of danger in Cayman. Woohoo




    51



    22
    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly. Why would people give longer notice than required in their contracts?

      Do government employees give 4 months notice (now until Dec)???

      If I stated my intention now I would probably be told to leave in 2 weeks (my notice period) as it’s quiet in the restaurants/hotel right now!!!




      35



      1
      • Anonymous says:

        They trying to fool us, they not going anywhere.




        9



        33
        • Anonymous says:

          The service industry staff will not qualify for PR so they get rolled over. You do understand that don’t you?
          If they have been here 7+ years and have seen the pension plan as a savings account for when they leave of course they will leave now so that they can get in cash & not have it in a pension plan until they retire (many are only in their 20’s & 30’s & want the deposit for a house in their homelands). You do understand that don’t you?

          Why would they stay 2 more years & have ‘their savings’ locked up for 35+ years.
          They came thinking it was a savings plan. Do you understand?

          Can you open your mind to comprehend why they will leave ??????




          27



          3
        • Anonymous says:

          Wrong! They have already started to leave. Their positions have been advertised with the NWDA and they are being replaced by more expats as no Caymanians have applied.




          24



          3
        • B. Bravo says:

          The same caymanian ignorance that our Premier is showing
          This is hurting caymanian owned business
          The only caymanians out of work are those who are unemployable or don’t want to work.
          Time will split cayman like the Bahamas and a gate drawn between the expat and local. Do I need to tell you who will win?
          Perhaps we need to redesign this system more like a business and cease with the local crap because clearly it doesn’t work.
          Stop poaching turtles people, embrace the future and open your browser.




          19



          2
    • Anonymous says:

      1;36 pm, what are you doing here ?, the likes of you should not be here in the first place, bad mouthing Cayman. You are only here for what you can get from here and don’t give a hoot about Cayman.. John F. Kennedy, said , don’t ask what the country can do for you, but ask what you can do for the Country. To all you expats that really care about Cayman, we love you all and hope you all stay and get the pension thing sorted out, Thanks to the good Caymanians and Expats alike , God bless.




      2



      2
      • Anon says:

        If you are going to quote please be accurate.

        It’s actually ‘ And so, my fellow Americans: Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.’

        Speech says ‘ your country’ let me remind you …..

        Expats are reminded constantly that it is not their country! So your point is irrelevant and unhelpful.

        If you treat people like crap, you think they want to help the country, invest, keep their money here….. Nope!

        Caymankind my ass!




        4



        1
  24. Anonymous says:

    No data, no worries. Just like teeth, if you ignore them, they go away.




    38



    1
  25. Anonymous says:

    A pension is for your retirement. This is really not news.




    23



    13
    • Anon says:

      Missing the point !




      27



      10
    • B.bravo says:

      Totally missing the point
      Imagine if you knew you would be forced to leave or knew you would never be allowed to be a citizen. Then add onto this the new pension law….it was a narrow minded small town law that will be reversed at some point like the cayover I mean layover…..for who? Caymanians? Which caymanians has any of this helped? Alden you are becoming more and more of the things you say you are not….shame.




      13



      2
  26. Anonymous says:

    go back to sleep alden….




    22



    5
  27. Anonymous says:

    Those in low skilled jobs are deliberately not declaring as yet to secure there jobs. An exodus will happen




    45



    7
  28. Anonymous says:

    This Cabinet also wagered incorrectly that stalled PR Applicants “wouldn’t dare” stand up for themselves and sue CIG. The lists of miscalculations are pages long. Being continually wrong winds up costing the public purse and leads to the haphazard cancellation of services and reduction in quality of life standards. The shortsightedness of our leaders are measurable and quantifiable over time. We need to modify the criteria for MLA eligibility to raise the bar – not lower it.




    38



    2
    • Anonymous says:

      The government need to change the law, expats should NOT be allowed to sue the Govt. period, How fool can we get, to give away status and if we don’t then we get sued for big money. so it end up that they get status and money too, boy we are sure fools.




      13



      33
      • Anonymous says:

        You do know that PR & status are different things don’t you???




        11



        0
      • Anonymous says:

        Wrong! These people followed the laws of the land for 8 plus years. The laws were changed half way for many of them by the government that was just re-elected. If you were unhappy with the changes made by Alden you should have voted for someone else. You can’t blame the expats as they have no right to vote. You can wish for 2 sets of rights but I believe everyone should be equal under the law.

        “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught inan inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
        Dr. Martin Luther King Jr




        26



        0
      • Anonymous says:

        @4:41pm – Who exactly is “giving away status”? Last I checked, besides the 2003 status grants, you have to apply for the grant of Caymanian Status. My maternal grandparents are Caymanian by birth, my mother is a Caymanian by birth and I have lived in the Cayman Islands for over 40 of my 50 years, yet, like many other Caymanians at the time, was born in Jamaica. I certainly had to apply for Caymanian status, it definitely wasn’t ‘given’ to me.

        Please stop spreading misinformation and distrust, if you don’t agree with something, do your research and then put forth your well reasoned and thought out view.




        10



        0
      • Anonymous says:

        They shouldn’t be allowed the right to sue for their rights! And they should drink from separate fountains! Bring me my white pillowcase and some scissors!




        4



        0
  29. Anonymous says:

    Wake up man, get real and stop blaming others for everything, politricking so soon. How about those that sit at home all day wanting something for nothing, how about visiting them and have them to accept, we all have to work to live. No, that will reduce the support base, numbers. Some of you politicians are a disgrace and should be ashamed of yourselves, I guess these days being ashamed is like commonsense not much is around.




    28



    3
    • Anonymoushould says:

      He wasn’t blaming anyone, he wa offering a suggestion. He has nothing to be ashamed. He is always trying to get our people imployed.




      6



      7

Please include your email address in the form below if you are using your real name. You can use a pseudonym, with or without leaving an email address, or just leave the form blank to be "Anonymous". All comments will be moderated before they are published. Please read the CNS Comment Policy at the top of this page.