George Town, Grand Cayman 8 December 2023 - Members of the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce Pension Plan (“Plan”) met at their Annual General Meeting on 6 December. Those presenting at the meeting included Chamber Pension Chairperson Giosino Colaiacovo, Mercer Investments LLC (“Mercer”) representative Daniel Angello, and PricewaterhouseCoopers (“PwC”) auditor Trevor Dunbar. Also in attendance was Ms. Amy Wolliston, Deputy Director of Pensions, who fielded questions posed by members during a scheduled question and answer period.
Chairperson Giosino Colaiacovo welcomed attendees and introduced the newly elected Board of Trustees: Ms. Brittany MacVicar and Mr. William Shaw, representing the Financial & Professional sector; Mr. Nigel James Clifford and Ms. Cinthya Zerpa, representing the Hospitality & Tourism sector; Mr. Pramod Joshi and Mr. David Mark Hindle, representing the Industry & Commerce sector; and Mr. Richard Freeme, representing the Voluntary & Self-Employed sector. Mr. Colaiacovo gave special thanks to outgoing trustees, namely, Mr. Grant Hiley, Mr. Bradley Kruger, Mr. Paul McGeough and Mr. Alessandro Sax.
"The Board of Trustees would like to thank them for their diligent work and dedication during their tenure. Your individual and collective contributions will not be forgotten", said Mr. Colaiacovo.
Mr. Daniel Angello, a representative from Mercer, presented an overview of the Plan's investment performance for the one year ending September 2023. Returns ranged from 5.59% to 22.40% across the investment options.
Mr. Angello described the Plan's investment strategy as being on the leading edge of industry best practices. He noted the strategy operates within the boundaries established by the National Pensions (Pension Fund Investments) Regulations, while still capitalizing on innovative portfolio construction techniques. The approach aims to deliver competitive returns over the long-term for Plan participants within a prudent risk management framework. Overall, Mercer is pleased with the Plan's investment results relative to market benchmarks over this period.
Mr. Trevor Dunbar of PwC noted a clean audit for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2023, with no areas of non-compliance.
Ms. Amy Wolliston provided a high-level overview of the Government's strategic plan regarding Pensions, which was from a Parliamentary Statement delivered by Minister Seymour in September 2023. An actuarial study will be conducted in 2024 to review key factors such as the contribution rate, which is currently set at 10%, as well as considerations around the normal age of pension entitlement. Following the completion of the Study, a Select Committee comprised of all members of Parliament will be appointed to examine the findings and recommendations of the Actuarial Study to help determine the path forward for pensions. It is expected that a comprehensive review of the existing investment regulations will also be undertaken, after the release of the Select Committee’s findings. This review aims to modernize the regulations where needed.
The Chamber Pension Plan has played an active role in shaping the Cayman Islands' pension landscape. Through our involvement with the Cayman Islands Pension Administrators’ Association Ltd., we have provided input and recommendations that will aid in modernizing the relevant laws and regulations. The process will incorporate feedback and perspectives raised by our membership. As such, members are strongly encouraged to contact any trustee to provide ideas and share thoughts or concerns regarding these important issues.
The attendees advocated for boosting public awareness and education concerning pensions in the Cayman Islands. They discussed issues with employer delinquencies in fulfilling their pension obligations. The group also debated possible legislative or regulatory changes that could help curb delinquent behavior. Overall, members are concerned by the ongoing access to pension funds which undermines the very framework and intent of pensions. Members worried that without education on the significance of pensions, members will remain disinterested in their retirement savings which could have effects that cannot be remedied in time for retirement; thus, highlighting the urgent need for public awareness on pensions.
The Plan will carefully consider the feedback received and will develop a formal action plan to directly address the concerns brought forth by members of the Chamber Pension Plan. Additionally, the Plan has issued this public statement to raise broader awareness of the observations and perspectives shared by members.
For more information about the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce Pension Plan or what is coming in 2024, visit chamberpension.ky or its Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram sites, email email@example.com or call 745-7630.