Management of Fidelity Pension Plan has apologised to their clients for delays in processing payouts under the government’s emergency COVID-19 pensions withdrawal scheme.
In a statement on Wednesday, President and CEO of RF Group, Michael Anderson, announced that “virtually all persons who successfully applied for Emergency Pension Withdrawals from the Fidelity Pensions Plan on or before May 29th, 2020 had been processed for payment.”
Fidelity has faced criticism for what was perceived by many of its pension plan holders as a slow response to their applications to access their pension funds as mandated by the government.
The company had previously cited internal administrative arrangements as part of the reasons for the delay.
While thanking their pension plan holders for their “patience over the last two months”, Mr Anderson said that “the various processes required to facilitate the withdrawals created significant challenges for pension participants, pension regulators and pension service providers”.
The statement says Fidelity new parent company, RF Group, had officially taken over the management of the Fidelity Pension Plan on May 1st 2020, the same day the changes to the Cayman Islands Pension Law came into effect.
It says The Plan then commenced payments during the week of June 15th but acknowledged delays in responding to and processing client queries and withdrawal applications.
“On behalf of the management and staff of the RF Group,” Mr Anderson said, “I would like to apologize to all Fidelity Pension Plan participants for any delays experienced.
“While both the Cayman and Bahamas based teams have worked tirelessly to deal with the massive volumes of emails, calls and applications received, they were often overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of persons requiring assistance”.
He also gave an assurance that "persons who have successfully applied for withdrawals after May 29th will begin to receive payments beginning the week of July 13th, 2020. Email confirmations of payments can be expected by clients.”
Fidelity is now advising its clients who have submitted applications during May and have not yet received an email outlining necessary changes to the application or confirming payment, that they should contact the company - by email.
It gives an email contact as email@example.com.
However, it was not clear what the situation was if persons wanted to call directly to make inquiries.
RF company boss Anderson said that despite what he described as “the initial challenges”, RF Group remains committed to the development and progress of the Cayman Islands.
“We look forward to the opportunity to bring new and innovative products to the market. We also look forward to resuming the professional and customer-friendly service that our clients have become accustomed to over the years," he stated.