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(CNS): Government has now confirmed that the pension holiday for non-Caymanian workers is over and employers must recommence paying into pension schemes for all of their employees. Officials from the employment ministry said the suspension of pensions contributions ended on Wednesday 25 April, which followed the end of the scheme for Caymanians last year. When government implemented the programme it was designed to assist both employees and employers during the economic down turn. The voluntary holiday was taken up by 2,864 workers over the life of the scheme, the Pensions Office revealed, but next month employers will have to start making payments again.
"With this expiry, participating non-Caymanian employees can expect to see their employers resume the pension deductions from their salary and the payment of the employers’ and employees’ pension contributions to their pension plans," Superintendent of Pensions Amy Wolliston said.
Under the pensions law all staff, including Non-Caymanians, between the ages of 18 and 60 are required to participate in a pension plan and pay pension contributions from their first day of employment. The only exceptions are non-Caymanians who have not completed 9 months of continuous employment on the islands and domestic helpers. Monthly contributions, which are supposed to be shared between employee and employer, should total at least ten per cent of a worker’s salary.
Employment Minister Rolston Anglin said he was happy that in tough economic times government was able to help by providing the pensions holiday to those companies and individuals who qualified but he pointed out the need for people to turn their attention back to their retirement needs.
“Pensions contributions are extremely important to an individual’s long-term savings for retirement. As the payments resume, we should all start thinking critically and strategically about our individual retirement plans," Anglin said.
Industry experts had warned at the start of the holiday that suspending payments for two years could have a significant impact on some long term pension plans. Brian Williams, the CEO of Saxon Administration, had warned that workers could lose up to $700,000 depending on the age of the contributor and the amount they were paying in.
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