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Priest knocks fees for pensions

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Priest knocks fees for pensions

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AN ANGLICAN LEADER, Archdeacon Eric Lynch, says fees being charged for registering pension funds are too high and can mean “severe hardship” for some companies.
Lynch made the complaint yesterday during a service at St Leonard’s Anglican Church to mark the Barbados Port Inc’s 50th Anniversary.
He said one concern about the Occupational Pension Benefits Act and its regulations was the registering of pension funds.
It would be “draconian” for companies to have to pay $5 000 or $2 500 to register small or medium sized funds, he told the gathering.
He said that while for large pension funds with hundreds of members the fees might seem fair, they could cause small pension plans to fold.
“With the proclaiming of the Occupational Benefits Act and its Regulations in February this year, pension managers are scrambling to prepare for registration by January 31, 2012,” he charged. “Among the many things to be done is the payment of fees.
“It is rather draconian when you have to pay in one case fees of $5 000 and in the other case $2 500. For large pension funds with hundreds of members, these sums seem fair but for small pension funds such sums will pose severe hardship and might even lead to the folding up of such provision.
“We urge your support for a review of the fees,” he told ministers and CEOs as well as Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) and Ministry of Labour personnel.
Lynch suggested that it would be better if for small and medium pension funds, fees are “based on the number of contributors in the sum of, say $25 or $30 per contributor”.
He pointed out that he also wanted to see more attention being paid to health and safety and the Employment Rights Bill, saying he hoped it would be proclaimed later in the year as expected “to ensure that people are not considered as slaves”.
In congratulating the Barbados Port Inc. for being a key player in industry and commerce, Lynch also pointed out a number of key areas on which it could place more focus.
“To the various publics that you serve, ensure that customer service is at its highest level,” he pleaded. “Ensure that the security is maintained and that we who live in this fair land can rest our heads feeling secure.” (CT)