Scotia now market leader in pension funds
Through its subsidiary, Scotia Jamaica Life Insurance, Scotiabank is making its mark in that sector.
The company's ScotiaBridge product enables individuals to accumulate tax-deductible contributions during their working years and to invest these contributions until they retire. Director of sales and service at Scotia Insurance, Lana Forbes, noted that ScotiaBridge is very popular with clients.
"We are the market leader right now with nearly 50 per cent," said Forbes. "In terms of the total funds, we've reached $4 billion, so it's growing." To become a ScotiaBridge plan member, you can't be an active member of an approved superannuation fund (AFS) or another approved retirement scheme (ARS). However, if you are self-employed or an employee of a company that does not offer a pension plan, and you are between the ages of 18 and 68, as well as being a Jamaican resident, you are eligible to become a ScotiaBridge plan member.
After becoming a member, your contributions are invested in units of an investment fund. If you die before retirement, the plan value is paid out to your beneficiary tax-free. Upon reaching retirement age, clients must purchase a payout annuity or another approved income plan.
And that's where the Scotia Retirement Income Fund (ScotiaRIF) comes in. ScotiaRIF is a follow-up plan to any ARS (including ScotiaBridge) or any ASF. Persons qualify for ScotiaRIF if they are between 50 and 79 with a terminated or soon-to-be terminated ARS or ASF. After clients have retired and terminated these policies, ScotiaRIF provides them an income during retirement.
When they are ready to retire, they have two options with their ARS. They can either receive up to 25 per cent of the fund as a tax-free lump sum using the balance to purchase a ScotiaRIF. The other option is to purchase the ScotiaRIF using the total accumulated value of the ARS.
For more about Scotiabank and its offerings, watch 'Corporate Coffee Mornings' with Barbara Ellington. at www.jamaica-gleaner.com and scroll to 'Videos'.