By Norma Connolly -
Economist Marla Dukharan has urged the government to think twice before allowing Cayman residents to make more early withdrawals from their pension funds.
Speaking on Radio Cayman’s ‘Talk Today’ show on Friday, 10 Aug., Dukharan questioned the wisdom of a recent proposal by legislators to amend the National Pensions Act to enable people to draw down their pensions to help pay off their mortgages.
If that plan, proposed in a private member’s motion in Parliament in June, goes ahead it would be the second time in recent years that pension funds would be accessed early. During COVID, government amended legislation to enable people to raid their pensions when many were out of work and facing uncertain futures due to the pandemic. During that time, more than 43,000 people made early withdrawals totalling more than $489 million.
In June this year, following the motion by Opposition legislator and former finance minister Chris Saunders, lawmakers voted unanimously for government to consider increasing withdrawal limits for Caymanians struggling with high interest rates to be able to access more money from their pension funds to pay towards mortgage or land loans.