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Pension industry presses gov't to move apace with second phase of law reforms

Published:Sunday | November 10, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Sanya Goffe, president of the Pension Industry Association of Jamaica.

The Pension Industry Association of Jamaica (PIAJ) is urging the government to pursue a more aggressive timeline for the passage of phase two reforms of the country's pension laws.

PIAJ President Sanya Goffe said this is necessary in order for the legislation to begin to have the desired impact of increasing pension coverage among private sector workers and also important in light of Jamaica's rapidly ageing population.

According to Goffe, “while we are pleased with the transformative growth made thus far to the pension landscape and in particular the recent improvements to the investment framework; a rapidly ageing society such as our own demands that we move with alacrity on Phase II of the pension reform which we anticipate will make retirement investment more accessible, attractive and innovative for the average private sector worker.” 

The PIAJ president noted that while it was important that the recent reforms concentrated on widening the type of assets in which pension funds can invest in, that's only part of the changes needed to improve access to retirement savings options for Jamaicans. 

Goffe pointed out that the second phase of the reforms would consider adjustments to key areas of the act to allow for pension portability, maximum vesting periods, hardship withdrawals, pension payout products and the ability to participate in more than one pension arrangement.

“An increasing old age dependency ratio combined with the current level of pension coverage would result in tremendous fiscal and social strain,” Goffe stressed.

“The PIAJ continues to stand committed and ready to support initiatives that advance pension coverage in Jamaica... continued pension reform is an important part of advancing coverage, but greater financial literacy and financial inclusion are also critical driving factors” she concluded.

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