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Do you have any questions?

Do I have to stick with paying the basic contribution or can I add extra cash into my pension at any time?


Saving a bit more than your basic contribution can mean all the difference to you in retirement, so you have more to retire on. Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) are payments that you can make into your pension that are above your basic contribution. They are flexible tools for saving as you can pay in as much as you can afford, whenever you can afford it. In addition, you can choose in which Lifecycle fund you want to invest in. Choose to save through your employer by payroll deduction, or set up a Chamber AVC account and send in your contributions as you're able. Saving via AVCs is straightforward – simply complete an AVC Application Form, make the extra contribution and then you can keep track of your AVC investments on a monthly basis with our useful online account access. You can also track your AVCs semi-annually, when you receive your personalised Chamber Pension Plan statement.




How can I find out how much my pension is worth?


You can check your Chamber Pension Plan statement online at any time. If you do not have log-in details or have forgotten your password, please contact the Administrator at admin@pensions.ky. Alternatively you can review your semi-annual statement which you should receive by mail. If you have not received statements in the mail in over six months, you are encouraged to contact the Administrator as it is likely that our records do not reflect your current mailing address. The Chamber Pension Plan statement is designed to provide information about your pension account at a number of different levels of detail. The Account Summary section gives you the value of your pension as at the end of the statement period. The Transaction Detail section allows you a more detailed look at each transaction that took place during the statement period, including contributions, redemptions and unit price percentage change during the statement period. Click here to view a sample statement.




How do I read my statement?


You can check your Chamber Pension Plan statement online at any time: just enter your user name and password on the Membership Log-In page. If you do not have a user name and password, contact the Administrator. Alternatively, you can review your semi-annual statement which you will receive by mail. It is important to review your personal information such as name, address, birthdate, beneficiaries and the employer you work for. Please note only your current employer name should be visible. Notify us straight away of any changes or errors. Check the period covered by this statement and note your member number – quote this number with any queries. The Chamber Pension Plan statement is designed to provide information about your pension account at a number of different levels of detail. The Account Summary gives you the current value of your account. The growth/ (decline) in your account is calculated by subtracting the amount of money you and your employer(s) have put into your account from the current value of your account. The Transaction Detail section gives you the value of your account at the beginning of the statement period including contributions/redemptions and unit price percentage change during the statement period. You will also notice a detailed breakdown of each contribution/redemption including the dollar value and the units purchased/redeemed in each transaction. There should be a minimum of six transactions on your semi-annual statement. Please contact the Administrator if this is not the case. The statement also shows the month your employer sent in your contributions. Please note that if your employer sends in contributions a month in arrears (for example if June's contributions were sent in July), they will appear on your statement during the month they were received (so the June contributions will appear in July). View a sample statement




How do I get my username and password for the member login?


Please contact the Chamber Pension Plan Hotline to speak with a representative at the pension Administrator. The Chamber Pension Plan Hotline is 345-745-7630 Email admin@pensions.ky




How do I know if I am eligible to join the Chamber Pension Plan Plan?


By law, every employer in the Cayman Islands has to provide a pension plan for its workers; those that don’t are committing an offence and can be heavily fined. This means that anyone working between the ages of 18 and 65 must be a member of a recognised pension plan, even if they are self-employed, working part-time, are casual workers, probationary staff or on short-term contracts, in fact anyone working must have a pension plan. If someone has more than one employer then each employer must pay into the employee’s pension plan. Work permit holders who have been in continuous employment for more than nine months must have a pension plan. The only people excluded are work permit holders employed to do housework in private homes. It is worth noting that Caymanians who are aged under 23 and who are in full time education are not considered employees. Visit dlp.gov.ky for more information about pension laws in the Cayman Islands.




How much do I need to contribute, as an employee?


If you are employed in the Cayman Islands both you and your employer must contribute towards your pension. The contributions that both of you make are related to your total earnings. Total earnings include salary, wages, leave pay, fees, commission or gratuity, as well as bonus payments that are more than 20% of your basic pay. Earnings do not include severance payments, retirement long service recognition payments, and health insurance premiums that are paid by the employer. Anyone earning more than CI$87,000 is not required to make pension contributions on the amount above CI$87,000 in a calendar year, although they may choose to do so voluntarily. However, employers are only obligated to match contributions on the first CI$87,000 of income. As an employee you should not be required without your consent to pay more than 5% of your earnings. Every self-employed person must contribute a sum equivalent to 10% of their earnings.




How much do you charge in fees?


The most recent audited expense ratio of the Plan was 0.80% as of 30 June 2020, and can be found on our current Fund Fact Sheets.




I am a work permit holder and I am leaving the Island. Can I take my pension money with me?


Under the National Pensions Law, no member or former member is entitled to a refund; except under the following conditions: If the value of the member's pension account is less than CI$5,000 OR Where a member reaches age 65 and wants to but is unable to transfer their pension benefit to an approved pension plan, retirement savings account or similar arrangement, or life annuity AND The member's employment is terminated; and the member no longer resides in Cayman. If the value of the member's account is greater than CI$5,000 they may transfer their account (with the Director of Labour and Pensions' approval) to an approved retirement account in another country. The National Pensions Law requires a two-year waiting period before the member`s pension can be transferred. The member's pension cannot be paid out or transferred until their employer makes the final contribution to their account. This may be two weeks or more after the member has stopped working. As a result, you should be aware that a refund or transfer may take three months or more, so do not plan on using a pension refund to leave the Island or to pay expenses. To be sure, the member should contact the Administrator, to ensure they meet the requirements for a refund or transfer. If they do, the member can fill out an Individual Transfer Request Form and submit it to the Administrator. Administrative expenses incurred while executing the refund, such as draft and courier fees, will be deducted from the refund amount.




What happens to my pension if I change jobs?


If you have been a member of the Plan under one employer, but then change jobs to an employer who does not use the Chamber Plan, there is no need for the member to do anything. Members may continue to have an account in the Plan, even if they are not actively contributing. If the member does not wish to maintain their account with the Plan, they may transfer their balance to another eligible plan by completing an Individual Transfer Request Form.




What happens to the money saved in my pension account if I die?


The National Pensions Law dictates that all pensions must be “joint and survivor”. This means a surviving spouse is entitled either to an immediate or deferred benefit.

  • If the deceased member was receiving benefits and has a surviving spouse: In this scenario, the instalment of payments will be considered joint with rights of survivor. 100% of the deceased member’s benefit is paid to the spouse.
  • If the deceased member was receiving benefits and has a surviving spouse and dependent children: In this scenario, the spouse receives and holds half of the deceased member’s pension for the care and education of the children until they reach the age of twenty-three or cease their full-time education (whichever is earlier).
  • If the deceased member was not receiving benefits: If a member or former member of a pension plan dies before the commencement of payment of a pension, the spouse is entitled to an immediate or deferred pension. The value of this should be at least equal to the amount of the value of the deferred pension.
  • If there is no surviving spouse but there are dependent children: All of the money is held for the children’s care and education until they reach the age of 23 or cease full-time education (whichever comes first). After this, the remaining pension is paid in equal lump sums to each child.
  • If there is no surviving spouse and no dependent children: The money is paid in a lump sum(s) to the named beneficiaries and/or estate.




What types of investments does the Plan invest in?


The majority of Plan assets are invested in the stock market. This is because history has shown that over the long term, stocks provide higher returns than bonds or cash. Since the majority of Pension Plan members have over 25 years until retirement, well-chosen stock market investments will likely prove to be the most stable investments for long term growth. This is the reasoning behind pension regulations requiring we invest 40% - 70% of the overall Plan in equities. Equities make up approximately 70% of the investments. Bonds and other fixed income securities make up the remaining 30%. Equities are comprised largely of mid to large global companies, such as Apple Inc., Amazon, JP Morgan Chase & Co. and Johnson & Johnson, just to name a few; fixed income investments primarily include government and investment grade corporate bonds like US Treasuries, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Inc. The Plan invests all or substantially all assets overseas to ensure diversity and liquidity. Plan members live and work in the Cayman Islands and many own homes and businesses here. It is in their best interest to invest their pension money elsewhere, to compensate if the economy of the Cayman Islands should experience a prolonged period of weakness. The pension plan also needs to be able to buy and sell its holdings quickly and easily to react to changing market conditions or cash flow needs. This means the Plan needs to invest in larger companies with active daily trading.




When I retire, how quickly can I start to receive my pension payments?


Once you reach your Entitlement Age, upon approval, you may begin drawing from your pension account, with your annual pension instalments beginning the first day of the month following your retirement date, unless you choose otherwise. Entitlement Age is 65, although early retirement may be reached at age 55. Members who were 48 in 2017 or older may also choose 60 as their Entitlement Age; opting for an early Retirement Age of 50 (once they cease employment). You can receive benefit payments from your pension account in one of two ways:

  • Enter into a retirement savings arrangement or an individual retirement account with an insurance company or other company licensed by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority to undertake pensions plans in the Cayman Islands; or
  • A life annuity that will not start before you can retire. This pays you a regular income for the rest of your life. How much you'll be paid will depend on a number of factors such as the size of your fund and the annuity rates at the time. The type of annuity purchased must meet the requirements set out in the National Pensions Law.




Where does my money go each month?


The money that you and your employer deposit into your pension is called your basic or mandatory contribution. When you are a member of the Chamber Pension Plan, the contribution automatically gets deposited into an account in your name and then it’s invested into one of our plan Lifecycle funds. Which fund your money gets deposited into depends on how old you are when you join the Plan. Your contributions will continue to be placed into this account until you retire, or elect to transfer your assets, if you are eligible. Your money is invested over time, with the mix of investments reflecting how long you have until you reach the normal age of pension entitlement according to the National Pensions Law. Lifecycle funds are useful tools for pension funds because they take guesswork out of investing, automatically adjusting the allocation of assets to reflect your evolving investment needs and goals.




Who oversees the investments?


The Plan’s investment portfolio is managed and overseen by international pension consultant Mercer Investments, LLC , who provides proactive and independent oversight of all the funds’ managers. Our global equities manager is BlackRock and our fixed income and bond manager is Income Research Management (IR+M).




Who oversees the Plan?


The voluntary Board of Trustees is responsible for the overall running of the fund. They delegate day-to-day responsibilities to the Administrator and are assisted by global leading pension consultant Mercer, as well as other expert service providers, as required.




Will I have enough to retire on when I retire?


People are living longer, healthier lives than in the past so this means if you retire at age 65, you may spend more than 25 years in retirement. That’s a long time to live on a “basic” retirement income, so now, more than ever before, it's vital that you start saving for your retirement as soon as you can. By starting to save today, you’ll be better prepared to grow your future income and enjoy more security during all those years after you stop working. Your retirement income needs will depend on what your expenses are likely to be, but it is predicted that you will need between 70% and 85% of your pre-retirement income to live comfortably in retirement. When thinking about how much income you will need when you retire, here are a few important details to bear in mind:

  • How much you have saved so far
  • How you have invested your savings
  • When you’d like to retire
  • Other income you expect to receive in retirement
  • Anticipated medical and other “unexpected’ expenses
  • How long you think you’ll live; and
  • Your spouse or partner’s situation – does he or she have a source of retirement income?
Click here to use our Pension Calculator.