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What You Need to Know About COVID-19 Pension Access

The Chamber Pension Plan remains dedicated to helping its members financially prepare for their future retirement horizon as well as their immediate needs during this time of unprecedented uncertainty arising from COVID-19.

During this time, we’ve received a number of enquiries from employers and individual employees regarding the pension legislation updates, as well as how to invest during a crisis. 

Below we provide more context around both of these situations. It is our aim that this information clears confusion around when and how to access pension funds, as well as provides a foundation to help you make an informed decision if you are facing a financial hardship.

 

National Pensions (Amendment) Law, 2020

As you may be aware, the Cayman Islands Government has passed legislation that provides early access to pension funds and suspension of contributions (holiday) for paying into your pension plan.

These measures are an effort to assist residents that are facing financial difficulty as a result of COVID-19.

 

Application to Access Emergency Withdrawal of Pension Funds

Apply using the online application form

You will need to submit a copy of your government-issued photo ID with a signature that has been notarised by a notary public or JP. If you are no longer in the Cayman Islands, you must also attach a copy of your ticket showing your departure date as of 1 February 2020 or later.

Applications must be submitted to admin@pensions.ky. 

 

Timing

Under the National Pensions (Amendment) Law, 2020:

The administrator shall within seven days of receiving the application notify the applicant of the administrator’s receipt of the application; and within fourteen days of notifying the applicant of the administrator’s receipt of the application, notify the applicant of the administrator’s decision to approve or refuse the application.

Where the administrator is satisfied that the applicant qualifies to withdraw the amount applied for, the administrator shall:

(a) approve the application;

(b) within forty-five days of receipt of the application, issue the amount in the form of a cheque or by direct deposit payable to the financial institution instructed by the applicant; and

(c) notify the applicant that the cheque has been prepared or the amount has been deposited, as the case may be.

An administrator may refuse an application under this Part where the administrator is not satisfied that:

(a) the applicant qualifies to make a withdrawal under this Part; or

(b) all the other requirements under this Part have been met by the applicant.

Where the administrator refuses the application, the administrator shall, within fourteen days of having notified the applicant of receipt of the application in accordance with subsection (8), notify the Section 6 National Pensions (Amendment) Law, 2020. 

 

Updates

The Chamber Pension Plan is working with the respective regulatory bodies to ensure that we can monitor the outcome and provide you with updates on these matters as soon as they are available. We will also post updates to this page and on our social media platforms to keep you informed.

 

Be Informed: Important Investment Factors to Consider.

If you are anxious about your retirement savings in these uncertain times, you are not alone. You may be asking, “should I withdraw my pension under the COVID-19 Pension Withdrawal Program?”

We’ve prepared this Be Informed: COVID-19 Pension Withdrawal Programme Q&A resource to help you make an informed decision. Only those who have a genuine need to access the funds are advised to make a withdrawal, as taking funds out of your pension now can be detrimental to your retirement.

 

Retirement investing in uncertain times

Our plan consultant, Mercer, has created the video below to put the latest market downturn into historic context while offering guidance on how to keep your retirement plan on track. Remember, just because market measures may have impacted plan performance now, it’s the long-term growth over time that yields the greatest results.

 

 

Related Resources 

 

Online Application to Access Emergency Withdrawal of Pension Funds

[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