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Be Informed: COVID-19 Pension Withdrawal Programme

 

Download the COVID-19 Pension Withdrawal Programme FAQs

 

Further to the announcement by the Cayman Islands Government that members of private pension plans are permitted to withdraw some funds from their pension plans to assist with financial difficulties experienced as a result of COVID-19, we are providing this guidance sheet so you can make an informed decision on whether you should withdraw funds from your pension at this time.

 

1. Should I withdraw my pension under the COVID-19 Pension Withdrawal Program?

We recommend that funds should only be withdrawn if you are genuinely in need. For example, if you do not currently have any work or income.

 

2. Will my withdrawal affect me?

You need to be aware that withdrawal of funds will be detrimental to your retirement savings so you should only do so if absolutely necessary. In addition, if you are not genuinely in need of the funds your application at this stage will delay those that are in need from receiving their money.

3. I am young, won’t my retirement fund simply recover from the withdrawal?

Financial experts recommend an income replacement ratio of approximately 70%. It is probable, and even likely, that the average pensioner will not be able to achieve this benchmark with only mandatory contributions. Additionally, withdrawing from your pension prior to market rebounds will lock-in losses and prove difficult to make up losses once the market rebounds. View this helpful resource: How much money will you need when you retire?

4. Why has the value of my funds decreased?

Global markets have experienced a record fall and remain volatile which has negatively impacted the value of your plan.

5. Will the value of my pension recover from recent market loss?

History is on your side!  Market volatility is normal, some might say it’s even expected. Pension is intended to be invested for the long term and we will continue to review and evaluate performance, under the advice of Mercer, our global investment consultant, with the goal of maximising long term returns for members.

6. Is Chamber still the right choice for me?

The Chamber Pension Plan is a low-cost private pension plan and performance has been in line with global markets, so we are an effective and efficient way of saving for your retirement.

7. Should I continue making contributions?

If you and your employer continue to make contributions during the suspension of contributions (holiday period) these contributions will be considered Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs). Please visit our website on the advantages of AVCs. Also, use our Pension Calculator to determine how much money you will need for retirement, which can impact this decision.

8. Can I move to a more conservative fund?

Members can make a one-time election to a more conservative fund. For example, our Income Conservative Fund (our most conservative option) has an investment allocation of 25% Equity and 75% Bonds/Fixed Income. History shows that Equities have outperformed Bonds/Fixed Income over the long-term. Pension is a long-term investment. Pensioners should carefully consider their long-term retirement goals prior to electing a different Lifecycle Fund.

9. Why can’t pensions simply stop investing in the stock market?

Pension fund assets are managed with the intent to ensure that retirees receive a certain level of retirement income, this is often achieved through investments. In addition, pension plan investments are regulated by the National Pensions (Pension Fund Investments) Regulations (1998 Revision).

10. Where can I get the forms and further information?

Forms and information will be available here on our website, www.chamberpension.ky.

Also, The Chamber Pension Plan’s LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram channels are being updated regularly with new information and resources designed to help members make informed decisions about their financial future.

 

Related Resources 

 

Online Application to Access Emergency Withdrawal of Pension Funds

What You Need to Know About COVID-19 Pension Access

[FAQs] Department of Labour & Pensions: National Pensions (Amendment) Law, 2020

[Web resource] Department of Labour & Pensions: COVID-19

List of Justices of the Peace in the Cayman Islands

List of Notaries Public in the Cayman Islands