GEORGE TOWN, CAYMAN ISLANDS – Those receiving a private sector pension through the Retirement Savings Arrangements (RSA) will see a 3.3 percent increase in the amount of funds they can access each year.
In response to the ESO’s position on local inflation, Director of Labour and Pensions Bennard Ebanks has authorized a CI$2,900 increase in the maximum disbursement amount per year. This will result in a monthly increase of $35.
In accordance with the National Pensions Act, members are permitted to access their retirement funds through an annuity or RSA. A member’s age and the amount of funds in their account determine the maximum annual withdrawal amount. An individual’s age is defined as his or her age at the beginning of the calendar year when the payment is made. With this increase, members can withdraw the new annual maximum of $12,900.
Also available to those who do not want to get funds through an RSA is the option of terminating that arrangement and transferring the balance to an approved annuity.
The newly appointed National Pensions Board supported Ebanks’ decision to increase the RSA. “We hope this increase helps to offset the Islands’ increased cost of living. It’s important that our seniors and older persons be able to access needed funds afforded to them via their retirement arrangements,” he said.
Mr. Chris Saunders, Minister of Labour, said: “Our retirees and older persons have played an integral role in the development of the Cayman Islands and our present-day economic success.”
“It is vital that we ensure they are able to live a life of dignity and independence throughout their retirement years, increasing the annual RSA disbursement amount assists with this objective, which is a fundamental aspect of our Islands’ Older Persons Policy.”
For many people, the impact of inflation is distorted and feels like much more than 3.3 percent. As a result of soaring fuel prices, price increases for everyday items in the store as well as high health insurance premiums for retirees, life has become more difficult for pensioners.
Despite receiving new monthly payments of $1,075 under the new rules that came into effect this month, many retirees are still struggling to survive without a second source of income.
Although the new annual increase took effect on April 1, 2022, applications received before that time will be paid the amount based on the previous RSA amount.