Keisha Hill, Gleaner Writer
The creation of specialised investment funds is fundamental to Sagicor Life Jamaica's (SLJ) investment strategy. Specialised funds allow pension funds to better match their liability profile with suitable assets. Each fund comprises assets in one or more of the three basic asset classes: fixed income, equities, and real estate.
"SLJ Pooled Investment Fund is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sagicor Life Jamaica Limited established for the sole purpose of holding assets on trust on behalf of the Pooled Pension Funds managed by SLJ. These funds are invested on behalf of the various trustees of the participating pension funds and individuals of the retirement scheme," said Barrington Groves, brand manager of group marketing at Sagicor.
The advantages of establishing this entity include the distinct ownership of the assets by SLJ Pooled Investment Fund and the segregation of these assets from those of SLJ. The assets of SLJ Pooled Investment Fund are therefore not subject to claims of the creditors of SLJ and beneficial ownership of these assets residing with the trustees of the participating pension funds for the benefit of the members and the participants in the retirement scheme.
As at June 30, 2012 Sagicor Life Jamaica managed a total of $79.2 billion of pooled pension funds. According to Groves, the combined average annual return over 40 years was 20.7 per cent versus average annual inflation over the same period of 17.3 per cent.
In 1972, Sagicor Life Jamaica started out with three funds - equity, mortgage & real estate, and fixed income. This year, they have added: money market, foreign currency, consumer price indexed, international equity, foreign exchange money market and diversified investment - eight asset class specific and one balanced fund.
The 40-year average annual return for mortgage and real estate fund was 16 per cent, fixed income fund was 20 per cent, consolidated pension fund was 21 per cent and equity fund was 23 per cent.
Groves said a pension is what everyone in Jamaica should think about. "We have outperformed inflation in every single instance. We have a good mix of investments and I think it is something to be celebrated," Groves said.
However, Groves said persons would not be able to withdraw funds until a particular age. Also, if persons want to stop contributing to the fund, the monies will remain until the specified period of time and the interest added can be paid on an annuity.
Sagicor Life Jamaica is considered to be one of the market leaders in the provision of pension services in Jamaica and the Caribbean. They have pioneered a number of innovations, namely the unitised funds that include pooled investment funds. Investing in the pooled funds affords Sagicor's clients the opportunity to maximise diversification thereby minimising risk and, over time, create wealth.
For more information, contact Sagicor Life Jamaica Limited or call 929-8920.