SAJ pensioners and beneficiaries feted
Almost 200 members and beneficiaries of the Kingston Port Workers Superannuation Fund (KPWSF) and the Shipping Association of Jamaica Staff Pension Fund (SAJSPF) were feted by the Shipping Association of Jamaica (SAJ) and Proven Fund Managers Limited at their recent annual retirees' luncheon.
The senior citizens, including widows of retired port workers and retired employees of the SAJ, are formally recognised annually for their lifetime of service and commitment to supporting the fund.
Chairman of the fund and honorary member of the SAJ's Managing Committee (board of directors), Harriat Maragh, is proud of this reputation.
"In terms of the benefits to the retired port workers, it is ranked as one of the better funds in Jamaica," he explained. "The fund has always been managed well since its inception. Today, it is run by Proven Wealth, one of the A-grade fund management firms in this country. I can say without a doubt that it is being run professionally and profitably," Maragh added.
He advised those attending the luncheon that the key to this success is the fact that the trustees of the fund comprise not just the Managing Committee of the SAJ, but also the unions which represent the workers.
In providing an update on the performance of the pension fund, Maragh noted that it had grown notably from a net asset value of $4.9 billion as at December 31, 2015 to $6 billion as at October 31, 2016. Investment income during 2016 totalled $1.2 billion, arising from a diverse portfolio containing fixed-income securities, real estate, stocks, loans and leases.
A valuation of the fund is due at the end of 2017, however, the trustees saw it fit to request that one be completed a year earlier, as at December 31, 2016. The trustees have since approved the maximum pension increase that could be provided under the laws of Jamaica. This resulted in a pension increase of 10.25 per cent for those retired before January 2014 and 3.66 per cent for those retired after January 1, 2014.
The KPWSF had its genesis in 1954 when it was started by the SAJ. It evolved over time as the association worked to improve the wages and benefits for its workers who were employed on the Port of Kingston. This KPWSF and the SAJSPF now have the reputation of being two of the better-run pensions funds in Jamaica in terms of the resources available to take care of its members, all of whom were registered employees of the SAJ.