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Why AVCs are a good idea

Every employee in the Cayman Islands must contribute at least five per cent of their monthly earnings into an approved pension plan, with their employers also contributing at least five per cent to the pension plan for their employee. Ten per cent of your earnings might seem like an adequate sum of money to be saving for your retirement, but even if you are a careful budgeter and have calculated how much you will need to live on, you may still need a little extra help financially when you are finally ready to retire. Unexpected trips off island, home and car repairs and medical costs can all materialise when you least expect them.

 

That’s where additional voluntary contributions (AVCs) can make all the difference. AVCs are a great way to add to your existing pension contributions to help ensure you will be financially secure when you finish your working life, ready to take on any unplanned expenses that may come your way.

 

Making an AVC payment is a simple procedure. For Chamber Pension Plan members it involves completing an enrolment form and making the payment. You can set up a regular payroll deduction with your employer to make regular monthly payments, or you can set up an AVC account with us and make your payments as you wish. A great benefit of making AVC payments therefore lies with its flexibility. If you have extra cash over one month you can make a larger AVC payment than normal; if you have nothing to spare at the end of the month you can simply make no AVC payment that month. The control is with you.

 

The Chamber Pension Plan is comprised of a number of different Lifecycle Funds which target your specific financial goals. When you make an AVC payment you can choose into which fund the AVC will be paid, giving you even more flexibility and control over your pension savings. Just as with you and your employer’s regular pension contributions, tracking your AVC payments is a simple and straightforward procedure. You can follow the growth of your contributions with your semi-annual personalised account statement, which breaks down your contributions, those of your employer and your AVCs, creating a record of your pension plan that’s easy to follow and easy to understand.

 

Your statement is accessible via the Chamber Pension Plan account access. (Gaining access is easy – just call our Chamber Pension Plan hotline 345-745-7630 if you need a username and/or password.)

 

AVCs are a flexible tool which can make the difference between a pension that covers your basic needs and one that truly allows you to live your retirement comfortably. If you have a little extra cash to spare, it is a great method of investing for your future. Get started today and download an AVC form



Welcome, Mario Ebanks

 

Mario Ebanks, former Director of the Department of Labour and Pensions and former Acting Superintendent of Pensions from 2012 to 2015, has been appointed recently as the Chamber Pension Plan’s newest Trustee.

 

Mr Ebanks is one of two Trustees appointed by the Chamber of Commerce to the Plan.

 

As a graduate of the University of Miami’s School of Business Administration, Mr Ebanks holds a BBA degree in International Finance and Marketing, with a minor in Economics. In 2002, he participated as a Deloitte scholar at the University of Tennessee’s Executive Master’s programme, where he attained his Master’s in Business Administration.

 

Mr Ebanks is also a member of the Cayman Islands Director’s Association and is an Accredited Director (ACC. Dir.) through the Institute of Chartered Secretaries & Administrators (ICSA) Canada.

 

“Embarking on this new venture is truly a great honour,” said Mr Ebanks. “I am eager to continue my passion for effective retirement planning and income replacement for all employees in these islands, which is crucial for a territory which does not have income tax or social security. I look forward to working with my fellow Trustees, as well as the other stakeholders towards these important objectives.”

 

Mr Ebanks’ background in pensions encompasses his service with the Ministry of Community Development; a ministry previously responsible for Labour and Pensions. His aid from 1994 – 1997 led to the development and eventual passage of the National Pensions Law and Regulations.

 

“The recent appointment of Mr Ebanks is exciting news for Chamber Pension,” expressed Board of Trustees chairperson, Paul Schreiner. “We are all delighted to welcome him to the Board. Mario brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise that will greatly benefit the Plan, and we look forward to his contributions.”



BOARD OF TRUSTEES WELCOMES FLOW FINANCE DIRECTOR

14 June 2019

Chamber Pension Plan’s board of trustees welcomes FLOW Finance Director Giosino Colaicovo, who was appointed earlier this month following the term fulfillment of previous trustee, Derek Jones.  

Mr Colaicovo is one of two trustees appointed by the Chamber of Commerce under the terms of the Trust Deed. The board is made up of nine trustees who serve on a voluntary basis for three years. All are senior level executives and professionals from the business community.

“This is an exciting venture,” said Mr Colaiacovo. “I look forward to working alongside my fellow trustees to provide members of Chamber Pension with the best possible value and performance.”

Mr Colaiacovo moved from Canada to Grand Cayman in 2006 and currently manages FLOW’s financial functions.

“Mr Colaiacovo brings over 20 years of expertise in providing strategic commercial and operational support,” said Board of Trustees Chairperson, Paul Schreiner. “His background in accounting and finance will be greatly beneficial in delivering on the board’s strategic operational objectives.”

Mr Schreiner continued: “I would like to also thank Derek Jones for his own service to the board these past three years. We wish him a fond farewell and are grateful for the commitment and expertise he provided to the board and its members.”



Think in years, not months

It is important to think in years, not months.

Although markets can be volatile over the short-term, they have historically produced strong results over the long-term.

The performance table below shows a significant rebound from late 2018.

Always remain focused on staying the course to reap long-term gains.

 

PERFORMANCE SUMMARY - AS OF 31 MARCH 2019

Net of All Plan Expenses                  Annualized
 

3 MONTHS

YTD

1 YR

2 YR

3 YR

5 YR

INCOME CONSERVATIVE FUND*

4.40% 4.40% N/A N/A N/A N/A

INCOME GROWTH FUND

5.88% 5.88% 3.45% 3.87% 3.57% 2.47%

2030 FUND

8.35% 8.35% 3.44% 5.67% 5.46% 3.49%

2040 FUND

10.30% 10.30% 3.33% 6.81% 6.71% 4.16%

2050 FUND

11.59% 11.59% 3.28% 7.40% 7.34% 4.41%

2060 FUND**

10.00% 10.00% 2.52% 8.10% 8.05% N/A

 

* May 2018 was the first month of performance for the Income Conservative Fund

** March 2016 was the first month of performance for the 2060 Fund



CHAMBER PENSION PLAN WELCOMES MR. RANDALL FISHER AS NEW SENIOR MANAGER

The Chamber Pension Plan is delighted to announce that Mr. Randall Fisher has returned to the Plan and will serve as a Senior Manager in Business Management and Relationship Development. He previously served as Director of Operations between November 2014 and March 2018.

Mr. Fisher has over 25 years’ experience in financial services including in the National Pensions Office, so he brings with him a wealth of knowledge and an understanding of the requirements and regulations pertaining to pensions in the Cayman Islands.

Commenting on his return to the Chamber Pension Plan, Mr. Fisher said:

“I am pleased to be returning to the Chamber Pension Plan and working closely with the current volunteer trustees to ensure that the Plan continues to live up to its Mission Statement of providing the best-performing, most trusted pension plan for employees and businesses in the Cayman Islands, in an efficient and cost-effective manner.”

 



Money left at the end of the month? Why not invest in your pension fund

It can be difficult to save money in an economic environment like the Cayman Islands. The cost of living and unexpected expenses can leave us with very little to spare at the end of the month.  

However, with some good budgeting and a little discipline it is possible to have money left over at the end of every month. Even cutting down on take-out coffees and bringing a packed lunch more often can translate into real savings when added up over the months. You can get more advice on saving money in our blog post Short term savings give long term benefits.   

Now you have started budgeting and are seeing the fruits of your discipline, it is worth considering how to make the most of it. Leaving it in your bank account to accrue interest might seem like the easiest option but with interest rates so low the return on your savings will take a very long time to add up. If this rings true to you, you need to seek an alternate solution to see your money grow. 

A far better idea is to put your money somewhere that will see it grow at a quicker rate, no matter how small the investment you may have available. However, for most of us the world of investments, stock and shares can seem a little daunting. Unless you are a trained investment analyst, buying stocks and shares can be a risky business and you may not have enough saved to cover the cost and fees 

Therefore, it is sensible to utilise the expertise of investment analysts and advisors who make a living out of choosing stocks and shares, specifically the investment analysts who work on behalf of the Cayman Chamber Pension Plan  

If you have some extra money available why not purchase additional voluntary contributions (AVCs) for your Chamber Pension Plan and let the experts decide which way the markets are moving. 

You can read more about AVCs in our blog post Why AVCs are a good idea. 

Making AVCs is a straightforward process. You can make AVCs simply by completing this application form and making a payment. This amount will then act as a top up to your regular pension contributions, and while you may only have a small amount of extra money over each month, if you make those extra contributions on a regular basis they will quickly add up. 

The internationally recognised investment managers who manage the Plan’s portfolio will then use money invested in your pension plan (i.e. your regular monthly contributions and those of your employer plus any AVCs) to invest into one of six LifeCycle Funds. Decisions are tailored to your investment needs, based on your age and estimated time until retirement. You can stipulate in which LifeCycle Fund you would like your AVCs invested and it does not need to be the same LifeCycle Fund as your required contributions. This means that all the money in your pension is working in tandem to ensure the best possible investment return for you. 

You can find out more about our LifeCycle funds and their investment objectives at the Our Results page 

Follow us on Facebook for more great tips on how to save your money and get the most from your monthly salary https://www.facebook.com/ChamberPensionPlan  

 

This post was published on 19th June 2019. 



Tips on Saving Money

It can be difficult to save money whether it be for holidays, a new car or Christmas. The Cayman Chamber Pension Plan understands that not all your savings can be put away into your pension fund; we all need a rainy-day fund and life is for living as well. But we do know a thing or two about saving money. If you need some help to get your savings started follow these simple steps – and remember, making small steps will reap big returns.

Create a savings goal

Knowing how much you need to save is the first step. From there you can work out the kind of changes that you will need to make to reach your goal. It may be worth saving a little extra for the unexpected.

Look after the cents and the dollars will look after themselves

The old sayings are the best. Put simply, small savings add up. Cut out coffees, lunch out and walk or cycle a few times a week instead of using the car or the bus. You will be surprised how much you can save in a month.   

Reassess your outgoings

That said, don’t ignore your bigger monthly outgoings. How much are you spending on cell phone data? Do you have cable but spend most evenings on Netflix? Consider whether some of the products and services that you spend your money on are really a good use of your hard-earned money. If not, consider downgrading to a cheaper package or perhaps cancel them altogether.

Sell items you no longer need or use

Why not consider selling things that you no longer use or need. Not making homemade bread in the bread maker or always tripping over kids toys they have long got bored with? Why not give unused and unwanted items a new home and make some money in the process.

 Don’t forget about your pension

While we all need a vacation every now and again and a pot set aside for life’s emergencies, it is important not to forget about your pension. Try to put aside something as often as you can and make additional voluntary contribution (AVC) payments whenever possible.

 You can find out more about investing in your pension fund at our blog ‘Money left at the end of the month?

 The Chamber Pension Plan portfolio is managed by internationally recognised investment managers who want to see your money grow as much as you do.

 

Follow us on Facebook for more tips on how to save money and get the most from your monthly salary https://www.facebook.com/ChamberPensionPlan  



Get ahead with smart financial planning

We all want financial security for ourselves and our families. After all, it is associated with higher levels of happiness and lower levels of stress – just some of the keys to a healthier life.

However, achieving financial security requires good financial planning throughout life. For some of us, this comes more naturally than for others. However, it is never too late to start organizing your finances. Few people look back on life and regret not spending more money but one of the most common financial regrets reported all over the world is not saving more money and not saving sooner.

Incomings vs. Outgoings

The first stage in achieving good financial planning is to know your current finances. How much money do you have coming into the household every month and what you are spending that money on? Group outgoings into essentials and non-essentials. Essentials include your rent or mortgage payment, loans such as a car repayment, school fees, utility bills and a reasonable food shopping budget. Non-essentials include a social budget, gym memberships, TV subscriptions and all the other things that you enjoy but you don’t need to survive.

Once you take your essentials away from your monthly income, you can work out what is the maximum amount that you can save each month. Multiply this figure by twelve.  This is what you could save in a year. Consider how you would feel if you managed to save that figure?

Considering this, what from your non-essentials list you really can live without?

Savings

You’ve worked out what you intend to save each month. Stick to it! Open a savings account so that your savings are separate from the money in your checking account. Why? First, a savings account usually offers a higher interest rate so your money will grow more quickly than in a regular account. Second, consider that money gone – it is not for spending, so it is best to put it somewhere safe and forget about it. If it is in your regular account, you may be tempted to spend it.

Saving for retirement is extremely important to avoid any hardship in later years. It is worth setting aside some of your savings to top up your pension pot in addition to the monthly contributions that come straight out of your salary. You can set up an additional monthly payment, known as an Additional Voluntary Contribution. Try to top up with as much as you can afford.

Investments

Once you have mastered saving your money, then you may wish to consider whether investment is for you.

Investments can be risky, hence the greater reward. But with risk comes potential for reward and loss. That said, some investments are riskier than others. An investment like the purchase of a property in a jurisdiction such as Cayman is a relatively safe investment in the current climate. With a growing population and high demand for housing, purchasing a property could be one way to see your money grow.

There are other types of investments, but these are both riskier and require knowledge and experience. It is not advisable to invest in a product such as stocks unless you know what you are doing. A money manager may be able to advise and assist you.

Set your little ones up for life

We at the Chamber Pension Plan have always believed that young people should be taught the skills associated with sound money management. If you have children, you can engender financial planning, even at a very young age. Encourage your child to buy a piggy bank so they can save their pocket money each week or month. You can also provide incentives for them to save their money. Offering to double their pocket money if they save it can teach them about the rewards associated with saving.

If you found this interesting, please like us on Facebook so you never miss an update at https://www.facebook.com/ChamberPensionPlan/

 



Think in years, not months

CHAMBER PENSION PLAN WELCOMES MR. RANDALL FISHER AS NEW SENIOR MANAGER

BOARD OF TRUSTEES WELCOMES FLOW FINANCE DIRECTOR

Welcome, Mario Ebanks

Why AVCs are a good idea

Money left at the end of the month? Why not invest in your pension fund

Tips on Saving Money

Get ahead with smart financial planning