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Should I stay or should I go? Expats mull pension law changes

Time is running out for foreign workers to leave island and be eligible for a pension refund.
The new pensions law comes into effect in 2018, and many expats are weighing if they are in cayman for the long haul, or if they should take the money and run..
Should I stay or should I go?
It’s a question many expats are asking themselves, as the clock runs out on the old pensions law. Starting 1 January 2018, those who leave island will no longer be eligible for a pension refund.
“They will have access by the end of the year, if they make the decision to leave, to get a refund two years after they’ve left,” said Chamber Pensions Plan Director of Operations Randall Fisher.
He told Cayman 27 the pension plans themselves are unlikely to see signs of any “mass exodus” of foreign workers, at least not yet.
“The question is whether it will trigger a mass exodus or not is debatable, we won’t know as a pension plan provider until two years down the road,” he said.
Mr. Fisher said certain demographics, based on age, have some other options to access their pension savings.
“For example you are 50 years old and you were thinking of leaving simply for the purpose of getting a refund, you don’t really have to, because you have the option of a retirement savings arrangement,” said Mr. Fisher.
He said those individuals could keep working, and apply for a retirement savings arrangement that would allow them to withdraw up to $12,480 a year.
“If you have $25,000 in there, you can probably get your money out within 15 months of leaving the island,”
He said resources exist for those expats who are still on the fence.
“Any member can contact their pension plan provider and ask the questions, we are available, and the data is definitely on the website as well as the department of labor and pensions website,” said Mr. Fisher.
Should I stay or should I go? A tough question on the minds of many foreign workers.

About the author

Joe Avary

Joe Avary

Joe Avary has been with Cayman 27 since 2014. He brings 20 years in television experience to the job, working hard every day to bring the people of Cayman stories that inform the public and make a difference in the community. Joe hopes his love for the Cayman Islands shines through in his informative and entertaining weather reports. If you have a story idea for Joe or just want to say hello, call him at 324-2141 or send an email to

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