The latest financial statements of the Executive Agencies (EA) Pension Scheme show that the entity has accumulated assets totaling more than $1 billion.
This was disclosed by Pension Fund Manager at NCB Insurance Company, which manages the fund on behalf of the Trustees, Desmond Johnson, while delivering the Fund Manager’s Report at the EA Pension Scheme’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), which was held at the Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston, on November 27.
The meeting was held under the theme: ‘Today’s Contribution; Tomorrow’s Financial Security’.
Mr. Johnson told the Scheme’s members that the net value, as at December 2011, stood at $1.16 billion, as outlined in the financial statements, which were audited by the chartered accounting firm, KPMG, which concluded its report in June this year.
The Fund Manager disclosed that more than 50 per cent of the funds accumulated from the contributions of the Scheme’s nearly 1,500 members, matched by the respective executive agencies to which they are attached, were invested in Government paper. He said another 30 per cent was invested in equities, with less than 10 per cent being channeled into lease financing.
He explained that selection of these options was determined by the Scheme’s Statement of Investment Policies and Principles (SIPP), which, among other things, directs the Fund Manager on the investments to be embarked on.
“The SIPP was developed by the Trustees and NCB Insurance Company, and it dictates what the objectives of the Pension Fund Managers are and what the benchmark (on returns should be), which is two per cent above inflation in any given year. We have been surpassing that for a while. I think we have been doing pretty well, in terms of the returns, given what is happening in the economy,” Mr. Johnson said.
Meanwhile, KPMG’s Audit Manager, Samuel Sanderson, who also spoke at the meeting, told the members that based on the entity’s financial statements, “proper accounting records have been maintained.”
Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Robert Martin, said based on its performance, since being established in 2002, the EA Pension Scheme is currently regarded as one of the best managed facilities of its kind in Jamaica.
“This is because we have a set of Trustees and Retirement Committee Members who really spend a lot of time liaising with the Fund Manager and making excellent investment decisions on behalf of the membership,” he explained.
Commending the work of the 13-member Board of Trustees, and 10-member Retirement Committee, Mr. Martin said they had executed their duties “with excellence.”
“I couldn’t have asked for a better team; and we sincerely hope that as time goes by, the robustness and strength of the team will continue to prosper,” he said.
Guest speaker, Northern Caribbean University (NCU), Associate Vice President for University Relations, Professor Patrick Smith, underscored the need for timely planning for retirement.
He also stressed the importance of persons embarking on this undertaking with immediacy rather than opting to defer, pointing out that the latter choice could, in the long run, have serious consequences.