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The Financial Services Commission (FSC) has recorded a sharp improvement in the processing of applications seeking approval for private pension schemes.
This was noted today (November 3), by Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, at the FSC’s pensions exposition, held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, in Kingston.
The Minister reported that 120 of the superannuation fund applications now before the Commission had been approved, and another 145 are to be finalised over the next three to four months. He added that those applications form part of the 536 superannuation fund applications that are before the Commission.
Mr. Shaw said this is a significant achievement, as up to two years ago, only four of those applications had been approved. In addition, the Commission is reviewing another 11 applications for retirement schemes.
Meanwhile, the Finance Minister noted that some 1,148 of the 2,295 applications for individual or Corporate Trustees have been approved. “The Trustees go hand in hand with the pension funds, as the Trustees have to get approval in terms of their fit and proper status to be managing the superannuation fund. The ones that remain unapproved, many of them have failed to complete the requirements of the application process, and therefore if you have superannuation funds that are operating unapproved, it means that the contributors to those schemes are inadequately protected,” Mr. Shaw explained.
He is therefore urging contributors to find out if their Trustees and pension plans are approved. “Please take it as your responsibility…because if your Trustees are not approved and your pension plans are not approved, your own long term benefits might very well be compromised. I don’t want you to go blindly and have your money taken out every month, but then you find out that your pension fund is not fulfilling the requirements for proper monitoring by the FSC,” he said.
The exposition, which is being held under the theme: ‘Retirement Planning: Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late’, seeks to advance and improve knowledge of pension schemes, and to encourage Jamaicans to start preparing for retirement, regardless of age or status.
Among the 21 exhibitors were: Jamaica Stock Exchange, Jamaica Money Market Brokers, BPM Financial, Prime Asset Management Limited, Sagicor Group, Barita Portfolio Management, Capital and Credit Securities, Stocks and Securities Limited, National Health Fund, JN Fund Managers, Guardian Life, Scotia Insurance, City of Kingston Credit Union, Mayberry Investments, Scotia DBG, Victoria Mutual Wealth Management, National Commercial Bank, Churches Co-operative Credit Union, Turning Pages book store, and Key Insurance Company.