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Retiring & Pensions

Cayman Islands - Retiring & Pensions

The Cayman Islands enacted a national pension law in the late 1990s, which requires all employers to establish a pension plan for employees between the ages of 18 and 60. Normal retirement age is no later than 61. Pension plans must provide a minimum benefit of 1.5 per cent of qualified earnings for each year of employment, subject to a maximum of 40 years. Both employer and employee are required to contribute to the plan. Pensions for spouses and adjustments for inflation are also part of the pension law plan.

Anyone working who is between the ages of 18 and 60 must be a member of a registered pension plan. Every employer must provide a pension plan for each wage earner, even if they are only working part time. An employee is defined as one who reports to work to an office of an employer located in the Islands or those workers who reside in the Caymans and are paid from an office located there. Self-employed persons must enroll in a pension plan or contribute to a registered individual retirement account. Expatriates who have been working in the Islands for a continuous period of nine months become part of the law governing pension plans. Those workers who are not Cayman citizens or permanent residents and are employed to do housework in private homes are excluded.

Copies of the National Pensions Law can be purchased from the Legislative Assembly in George Town. The two primary documents are The National Pensions Law and The National Pensions Regulations. The Legislative Assembly can be contacted at: (345) 949-4236.

Added 4/10/05 by Bart - After 6 months, pension contributions are legally required. This is organised by the employer, and is normally 5% of your wage, matched by the employer. As there is no tax, that doesn't feel too bad. Getting your pension money back after you leave is, however, a bit more painful. If you have a pension account with less than $5,000 C.I. in it, then you can apply to get it back immediately you have left (never before) but if your account is richer than that (most people after 2 or more years of employment there) then you can either wait 2 years from the date you left, and apply then for a refund, OR have a financial body in your home country apply to have the funds transferred into a recognised retirement savings plan. All in all, do NOT rely on this money to survive after you leave, it could take some time. As an aside, you have no choice what account your pension payments go into, and the current plan is actively losing money.

Added March 2007 by Juliette:
According to the Chamber of Commerce Pension Plan Office, the requirement to contribute to the Government pension plan is at the beginning of the 10th month (when 9 full months of employment has been completed)

Added March 2007 by Cyril:
Please check out the CI National Pensions website at gov.ky/npo for up-to-date information on the CI Pension system.

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