With some new retirees reeling from a reduction in their retirement income due to the adverse effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on market conditions, Sagicor Life Jamaica has allocated $40 million towards an increase in their pension payment.
Sagicor Life is giving up a portion of its pension fund investment fees to improve the retirement benefits of pensioners who retired between April and July this year and would have experienced a decrease in their portfolios due to the decline in asset values.
The company says some pensioners have received the increase as a one-time lump sum payment, while others will receive it in their monthly pension, effective November 1, depending on the value of their allocation.
Since the pandemic, stock markets worldwide have declined considerably, with the Jamaican stock market decreasing by some 28 percent since the start of the year.
It was argued that this decline impacted the returns on pension plans based on their individual asset mix, which in turn affected the investment income applied to each member’s account.
Willard Brown, Executive Vice President, Sagicor Life Jamaica – Employee Benefits Division, said the move, which gives a boost to some of the affected retirees accounts, was borne out of recognition of the challenges being faced due the current unprecedented circumstances.
“We have been paying attention to the concerns of all our stakeholders who have been impacted by the pandemic and are cognisant that some pensioners retiring at this time would have experienced the negative effects resulting in the decrease in their pensions. At Sagicor, we believe wholeheartedly in doing the best we can to give support during this difficult time and want to ensure the best possible outcomes for our pensioners,” he said in a statement.
He added: “We know that persons who are retiring during this time may have limited options in recovering this reduction in their retirement income, and so we hope that providing this boost as they transition from employment, will help to make a difference in the quality of their retirement journey.
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