Pensioners to get $35 more per month from funds

| 13/05/2022 | 111 Comments
Cayman News Service

(CNS): People receiving a private sector pension under the Retirement Savings Arrangements (RSA) will be getting a 3.3% cost of living increase on the funds they can access each year. Director of Labour and Pensions Bennard Ebanks authorised an increase in the annual maximum disbursement amount from CI$12,480 per annum to 12,900, resulting in a monthly increase of $35, in line with the ESO’s position on the rate of local inflation.

The National Pensions Act permits members to access their money at retirement through an annuity or an RSA. The maximum annual withdrawal amount is determined by the member’s age and value of funds in their account. The age is defined as the age of the member at the start of the calendar year in which the payments are being made. This increase allows members to withdraw the new annual maximum, which is $12,900 dollars.

The option also remains for those not wanting to get funds through an RSA to terminate that arrangement and transfer their balance to an approved annuity.

Ebanks said the newly appointed National Pensions Board had supported his decision to increase the RSA. “We hope this increase helps to offset the Islands’ increased cost of living. It’s important that our senior and older persons be able to access needed funds afforded to them via their retirement arrangements,” he said.

Labour Minister Chris Saunders said, “Our retirees and older persons have played an integral role in the development of the Cayman Islands and our present day economic success. It is vital that we ensure they are able to live a life of dignity and independence throughout their retirement years, increasing the annual RSA disbursement amount assists with this objective, which is a fundamental aspect of our Islands’ Older Persons Policy.”

In reality, the impact of inflation is distorted and it feels like much more than 3.3% for many people. The increases in prices of everyday items in the stores, soaring fuel costs as well as the level of health insurance premiums for retirees make life very difficult for pensioners. The new monthly payments under the arrangements which came into effect this month are $1,075 but without another source of income, most pensioners are struggling to survive.

The new annual increase came into effect on 1 April 2022 however, applications received prior to 1 April are subject to the disbursement amount based on the previous RSA figure.

For queries relating to the new RSA increase, contact dlp@gov.ky or call 945-8960.


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Comments (111)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Us/CI citizen here, middle aged, open my own company in the US and employ myself at a low wage. Pay into social security, plan on doing that for next 25 years, will get health care, $1300 maybe and payments as long as I live. Put that along with my $1035.00 and maybe a few apartments and early retirement years in Asia, and late retirement in Cayman Brac, looking good. Just got to put the plan in motion…. comment if you need some help, good business idea….

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Folks, Please remember that Government has to walk a tight thin line. That is the line between spending so much taking care of the needy on the island and having enough money in the coffers to be able to give the ultra rich developers concessions, worth millions, to the already millionaires. It is real simple to figure out who controls the country, hint, and it is not the people.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    It’s sensible that pension withdrawal (after reaching minimum age) should be capped, but it has to be on a percentage basis, not absolute. The UK used to have a cap and it was roughly the equivalent rate of a single life annuity plus around 15%. There were tables set, and updated from year to year. It worked. So someone with $100k saved could withdraw maybe only $500 per month, but someone with $1 million could withdraw $5,000. How is this simple concept ignored in the Cayman rules?

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    • Anonymous says:

      It is not ignored. Several years ago I purchased an annuity here on retirement (life time) & receive more than the min amount monthly that would otherwise have been payable.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Not what I’m saying. You say you purchased an annuity and received greater than the withdrawal limit – fine. I’m saying the withdrawal limit needs to be based on a percentage of the pension pot and at a level at least akin to a (life) annuity, rather than an absolute $ cap.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Pensions are the semi final stage of life..before we kick the bucket list.
    We need to be taught from early in life to manage the entire picture.
    Learn reading by age 4 and writing n math by age 7.
    Learn civic responsibility and respect for others.
    Determine what is your natural skill and develop it.
    Learn to work and negotiate all personal benefits with respect .
    Understand how to save or invest your funds.
    Use these skills and forge positive relations with others.
    Learn to be competitive yet fair.
    Cayman is a new growing country.
    Respect our unnuanced Natives.
    Or be greedy and we all suffer.

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    • Anonymous says:

      What is your point? It doesn’t matter how much is in your pension, you are still capped at $1000 a month. The whole point in putting money in a pension is to be able to sustain yourself in later years. Not everyone can be a Gordon Gekko. The government makes the rules here not the pensioner.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Attend the board or member meetings. Read all The Minutes.
        Team up with others and Submit written questions and suggestions.
        Quit whining
        You are the government.

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        • Anonymous says:

          And I think you may be mentally challenged. Doesn’t matter how many meeting or letters you send or minutes you read, the pension providers are not above the law. And you really think people are government?

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          • Anonymous says:

            That’s the point doofus. They are not above the law. Now go do do something about it or get off the pot.

      • Anonymous says:

        Your cap comment is wrong. I retired 18 months ago and my annual payout amount is more than 50% higher than you indicate. Save more collect more.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Did you not read the article?

          “This increase allows members to withdraw the new annual maximum, which is $12,900 dollars.”

          I have over 500k in the fund and do not get more than that.

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          • Anonymous says:

            No idea why that is the case. My pension fund is less than yours but I have been given a larger annual payment than you. The payments are determined by the government department upon application.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Private citizens all suffer equally under this socialist “Older Persons Policy” where a government that contributes $&@#-all over a person’s full career span, gets to intervene and dictate not only where and how it is taxed with fees, but also the drip-drop pace that private people spend their own savings, regardless of self-funded preparedness or means. It’s over-reach, counter-productive, and nobody can afford to live their policy! Nobody. Worse, the hypocritical forever “honorable” get to draw a completely different looking full salary equivalent pension package from an entirely unfunded pension chest, even before retirement, while simultaneously drawing full salary, driver detail, and other benefits. The CI Public has to not only service the territory’s mounting debt, but also fund a Billion+ pension deficit (circa 2017), and equally colossal CIG healthcare hole. These can no longer remain back burner issues. These are front burner for far too many already. Stands to get worse if we continue to ignore reality and accept the $&#t sandwich they are serving voters!

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Pensions in Cayman are a tax, not a retirement plan

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  6. Anonymous says:

    The problem now is that the private pensions are all losing money, even in the most Conservative Portfolio. Once you are retired, you can’t earn the money for retirement back. It’s heartbreaking.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I agree – my conservative portfolio lost CI$13,200 last year while my payment was only CI$12,480. Retirement is no fun watching what should be very protected quickly diminish by losses.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Dear CNS, I am not sure why Mr Ebanks felt a $35 monthly increase was worthy of an announcement and only highlights that his agency is tone-deaf to the reality of retirement in the Cayman Islands. Instead of reporting on what is an insulting announcement by Mr Ebanks. Please continue to spend your limited resources highlighting that our pension framework is woefully inadequate for the pensioners. We need our elected leaders to focus on reforming the system, so future generations have a better chance of retiring with dignity and security.

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    • Anonymous says:

      What would be your plan? Simply pay in more to collect more. Pensions are forced savings.

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      • Anonymous says:

        “Simply pay in more” not that simple at all. My plan would be to tax the heck out of all the oversized pensions and create a proper pension fund and not a pension plan. Every ageing person deserves to live with dignity and many have complied by paying in all they can.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Perfect! Just enough to feed my family for a day and half. Truly blessed -> NOT!

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    • Anonymous says:

      You should not be feeding your family when you retire. They should be working adults & helping you!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Wow. Not everyone lives your perfect vision of retirement. Until recently I had elderly parents to care for, and there are plenty of other reasons why family members might be living at home and unable to contribute, e.g. disability, illness or just fallen on hard times.Try to step down from your pedestal for a while and gain some perspective.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Let’s add banks to this nonsense – woukd like to open a savings plus account – where is your job letter? Well, put my savings in the savings account into the savings plus account to earn more interest. Where is the money coming from?

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    • Anonymous says:

      1/2 of 1% “interest” doesn’t even cover your yearly fees. Savings accounts in the Cayman Islands are a joke.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t get me started on the banks. $2.50 on every ATM transaction, bank and government fees on every transaction, and now my bank recently had the cheek to suggest monthy fees. It’s beyond ridiculous.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Are government refunding the $40,000 the pension provider deducted in fees?

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Is that to cover health insurance? Privacy sector seniors ripped off each and every way while insurance and pension companies reaping it in off the private sector seniors!

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  12. Anonymous says:

    This is really sticking the knife in. The overpaid MP’s give themselves fat raises and severance and a pension to live very comfortably while they give the peasants and extra $35 a month. I am at retirement age, but simply can’t afford to retire who the hell can live on $1000 a month, they even paid out of work tourism people more than that! I am not voting anymore they all as bad as each other, just care about themselves and cronies. And yeh, worked all my life with no handouts.

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    • Anonymous says:

      It is not even their money to ‘give’!

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    • Mumbichi says:

      Yes. It is sticking it in and breaking it off. Disgusting. We were and are forced to pay into a mandatory retirement that lost lots of money, caps out payment upon retirement and is fundamentally broken.

      I don’t know what retirement looks like to everyone else, but for me it looks like working until I am unable to do so.

      I will be like Mr. Clifford in Cayman Brac who was a painter; toward the end of his days, he was painting chain link fences with a brush. He was slow, but you couldn’t begin to expect a better job of it. Pride. Pride and honour and work integrity.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    We know that the Chamber members are way behind on payments for staff pension plans.
    But then again who’s asking for it.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    You guys are totally screwed. Inflation in April in the US was 8.3% and I’d guess at least that much in Cayman. Social Security in the US while deeply flawed and broken is projecting a possible 8.6% increase for 2023. Chris was going to fix all of this wasn’t he🤔🤔🤔🤔 So much for, “ to live a life of dignity and independence throughout their retirement years.”

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Wow only seven loaf’s of bread, not much.

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  16. anon says:

    $3000 was added to my pension in AVC last summer. By December, it was only worth $2k. In contrast, I put a much smaller amount at Credit Union and made hundreds in interest. WHY does our government make it illegal for folks to choose putting money in a retirement savings account? I have been working for 20+ yrs and my “pension” is a disaster. I don’t count on the idea of using it in retirement; have other plans. After all what would I do with $1k per month that is the legal limit of what I could take out??? Stop this madness. Government is forcing me to waste 5% of my salary.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Question y’all. What if a person dies and that person has 1-2 people listed as beneficiaries to their will. Do the people get to collect the entire pension of the deceased person, in lump sum or monthly payouts????

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    • Anonymous says:

      Seriously?

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    • Anonymous says:

      I was told that the beneficiaries would only get 40% so I decided I’m taking my lump sum. Government isn’t getting my pittance.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Pensions don’t usually form part of the estate. Beneficiaries are usually named in a statement of wishes kept with the pension contract. In the event of death any remaining benefits would go to those named in the statement of wishes regardless of what it says in the Will.

  18. Anonymous says:

    What does the government have to do with private pensions? None of their business! In UK people are paid government pension on their criteria. Government in Cayman has no say on private pensions – has nothing to do with them! Isn’t it between the person that paid into the so called provider – did government sign that contract – or did we sign a contract giving rights over our pension monies – please send a copy.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yes you’re right, that’s how it should work, but the previous government made lots of noise about expats returning home to retire and cashing in their pensions, effectively accusing them of taking (their own) money out of Cayman. Then they passed a Rupert Murdoch law:https://silverthatch.org.ky/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Silver-Thatch-Pensions-New-National-Pensions-Law-Amendment.pdf and imposed it retrospectively, effectively seizing control of everyone’s entire pension savings. How they got away with this I don’t know. Private pension providers rolled over and played dead, individuals couldn’t afford to challenge and sadly nobody had the guts to start a class action so now we’re stuck with this foolishness.

  19. Anonymous says:

    What a joke really DLP Board I hope you didn’t have to meet to make that decision, $35.00 more a month to assist with cost of living Sick and disgusting.

    Minister Saunders are you really agreeing with this???

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    • Anonymous says:

      Of course he is agreeing! Isn’t he the minister of finance? Didn’t all of you know all his talk was just BS.?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Did you not read the comments by Saunders. Of course he agrees as it is yet another way to screw us, while he and his puppet government raise their own salaries.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    #screwthepensioners
    #momoneyfiwe

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  21. Anonymous says:

    It mussa missing the decimal!

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  22. Anonymous says:

    Oh look, been given an allowance of $35 a month from my own money – oh mummy, daddy, you are so condescending and criminals!

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  23. Anonymous says:

    How insulting, disrespectful and disgusting! Not their money! How much money we put in government pockets for alk of them to abusing, attacking women, collusion and corruption. How dare you insult us by allowing us 35 a month of our money – that we worked for, harder and longer hours than any government. Stuff your 35 a month, better to leave like lots of Caymanians. Hope younger ones will be treated better in future – if they ever come back. Expats – don’t waste years of your time and money applying for residency and status – if you have somewhere else to reside, save your money and self respect and go buy property somewhere else and keep your money!

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  24. Johnny-Cake Wid A Cup of Coffey! says:

    Our retiree pensions “allowance” is shameful and legislative high-way robbery of the Caymanian people. After working so many years, when pensions are due, we should be able to collect at least 50% of our pensions in lump-sum and the balance payable the following 2 – 3 years max! It is wrong that Caymanians allow retiree pension funds to continue to be “managed” by pension companies. We do not need anyone to “manage” OUR funds. It is ours and we worked hard for it. It should be immediately vested back to us; even if, a meniscal amount of people will not properly manage there funds. Everyone should not have to suffer because of that 1- 3%. Seems like we are protecting big-business once again.
    This is wrong and one of the worst pieces of legislative changes championed by the Hon. T. Rivers at the time. So, to now be offering a meagre dry-up 3 galleon of milk monthly extra is a box, not a slap, in the face of Caymanians. Are we to be happy or something?

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    • Anonymous says:

      their*

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    • Anonymous says:

      You believe 97-99% of people are able to manage a lump sum payment at retirement to last them the rest of their lives? LOL. If you need that money to live I really doubt you know how to manage investments that well.

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      • Mumbichi says:

        Either way, it isn’t really your or my purview to judge, is it? It is the responsibility of the retiree to decide and make or break it.

        If a person has savings or investments beyond the pension, there is every chance that they are perfectly able to manage their investment account.

        Once a person has exhausted all of their income, they become wards of the territory, and lose certain liberties, such as the right to buy cigarettes and booze, and the ability to be self-determining.

        Most of the reason that some people aren’t able to manage a lump sum payment is that the accumulation of their financial efforts have been pissed away by this mandatory retirement “scheme”, and their lump sum is far too little to serve.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Pension payment should be no less than CI$18,000 per annum. A real shame (crime actually)considering the cost of living now.

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    • Anonymous says:

      It can be IF you have put sufficient funds into your pension account.
      It up to each of us.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Stupid speaks!

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      • Anonymous says:

        No – you are only allowed to take out $12900 a year max. You can have a million dollars in your account and it’s still $12900 a year. Unless you are an expat and leave, in which case you can take the lot after 2 years.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Baloney. My annual payment is CI18000+. But I paid in extra funds each month rather than blow it on nails, hair, trips, etc, etc.

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        • Cheese Face says:

          “No – you are only allowed to take out $12900 a year max. You can have a million dollars in your account and it’s still $12900 a year. Unless you are an expat and leave, in which case you can take the lot after 2 years.”

          Annuity?

          The amount of your annuity income will depend on several factors, such as the amount of money available in your account to buy the annuity, interest rates at the time of your annuity purchase, the type of annuity you buy, and your age
          and gender, and whether or not you have a spouse.

        • Anonymous says:

          Not true on the expat bit. No cashing in over $5,000 allowed since 5-6 yrs ago.

      • Anonymous says:

        How great for you. But how is the average Jo supposed to do that when salary barely covers rent let alone utilities and feeding family?

    • Anonymous says:

      That wouldn’t even pay my rent. Can’t get a home here on my salary alone. Facing retirement and a lifetime of poverty imminently. A hopeless situation.

  26. Message says:

    To me, this is a slap in the face. But then again, seeing it is DLP I understand why. That office is useless, clueless and helpless. This “increase” offers just about as much help as they do when you have been terminated I.e. call back in 24 hours, (which doesn’t happen) refusing to see clients, hiding from clients and the list goes on. I can’t even fill up my SUV based on this increase.😴😴😴😴

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  27. Anonymous says:

    Wow, Im shure that will be a huge help. Not!

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  28. Michelle B says:

    A national disgrace.

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  29. Anonymous says:

    Oh. Well that’ll buy 1 pack of strawberries.

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  30. Bob says:

    oh wow a whole extra $35…smdh

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  31. Anonymous says:

    What a joke

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  32. Anonymous says:

    This is deeply broken. End the private pension experiment and give people full access to self-direct their own money and retirement plan! Why should someone’s private career contribution (of hundreds of thousands)be held hostage to these underperforming plans, and with the government intention to meter it out at just $1100/mo? Who does this serve?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Who does it serve? You know who – the pension companies. If people were allowed to take it out, or heaven forbid invest it in a decent pension fund that actually makes reasonable returns, they would have to shut up shop.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Government coffers – as if they don’t already have enough to waste already

  33. Anonymous says:

    And meanwhile inflation is at 8%. This increase is a joke

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  34. Anonymous says:

    I bet the 15% rise PACT gave themselves equates to a lot more than $35 a month. That doesn’t get you 1 bag of shopping. Shameful.

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  35. A.J. says:

    More than a dollar a day. Wow !!

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  36. Anonymous says:

    After raking in over 400 Million?

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  37. Anonymous says:

    How generous…

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  38. Anonymous says:

    What a joke. 33$ a month. Should let us take all our money out. I used mine to pay off my mortgage allowing me to save more of my salary for retirement. Pension here a nothing but a joke. Just like the government

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    • Anonymous says:

      But would you really save it? Would you be willing to sign a legal agreement that said you will require no assistance on retirement if you’re allowed to take all of your pension?

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      • Anonymous says:

        wouldn’t let me self get in the position to have to ask for government assistance. I’ll have closing cost for a second apartment next month and it has tenants in place that will pay for the mortgage.
        People need to stop thinking that someone is going to look after them when they are old. Make a plan, stick with it!

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        • Anonymous says:

          You just as insulting and disgusting! It is our money!

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          • Anonymous says:

            never said it wasn’t. Just don’t think that’s what will cover your bills when you old. People need to understand that they are responsible of looking after them selves.

        • Anonymous says:

          Learn to sit down and shut up when you do not know what you are talking about. Congrats to you – make sure nothing happens in life to upset your apple cart – one thing you cannot do.

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        • Anonymous says:

          What pension ‘provider’ are you paying your pension money into?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Might be relevant if the allowed payouts were defined by the fund value, but you get 12k a year if you have 300k in your pot or 50k in your pot. There will be many of the older generation without enough to get past a few years. The one size fits all approach is very lazy legislation, and God help you if you bought an annuity.

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      • Anonymous says:

        You sign a legal agreement to talk sense when you write!

    • Anonymous says:

      let me run to the store and stock up on food with my big fat increase. what a disgrace

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  39. Anonymous says:

    That’s nearly two whole cases of 345.

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