$440 million withdrawn from pensions
Following the amendment to the Pensions Law, which took place earlier this year during the Covid-19 lockdown crisis, people have been withdrawing up to CI$10,000 of their pension plus up to a quarter of the remaining balance, or the full amount if their pension was a total of CI$10,000 or less. This has led to CI$443,464,491.28 having been paid out to pension members to date.
In April the National Pensions (Amendment) Law 2020 law was amended to allow people to make withdrawals from their pension accounts to alleviate the financial strain the pandemic had caused. These funds have allowed the domestic economy to stay afloat while borders have been closed to tourists, effectively stalling one half of Cayman’s economy.
Figures just released from the Department of Labour & Pension, based on statistics received from the pension plan administrators, showed that 46,888 pension withdrawal applications had so far been received of which more than 36,000 applications were approved and 9,909 were rejected. The peak of applications was received in May, totaling 25,596.
People were able to withdraw from their pension plans up to 31st October of this year, after which time their pension funds were no longer accessible under the amendment to the law. The final statistics for the withdrawals over the six-month period will be available in early January.
The Government has also allowed employers and employees not to pay pensions from 1st April until the end of the year, however financial advisors say it is always wise to maintain pension payments if at all possible.