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Bermuda Improves Pension Disclosure Practices

by Glen Shapiro, LawAndTax-News.com, New York

27 October 2009


The Bermuda Monetary Authority has set up a joint initiative with industry representatives and the Pensions Commission to improve disclosure practices amongst Bermuda pension providers and investment firms.

A working group will review and revise the existing code of conduct published in 2004 and issued under the Investment Business Act 2003 (IBA).

The Authority want to provide more explicit guidance in line with good international practice, and seeks to place higher standards of disclosure on pension providers and investment firms generally, to ensure that individuals receive clear information about where their money or pension funds are invested, the performance of their investments, the various fees they are charged and the impact that these factors have on their investment returns.

"We shall look very carefully at the recommendations from the working group when we come to revise the Code," Peter Sousa, Chief Executive Officer of the Pensions Commission of Bermuda announced.

“With respect to private, occupational pension schemes established under the National Pension Scheme (Occupational Pensions) Act 1998, the importance of providing complete and transparent information upon which plan sponsors and plan members can make intelligent decisions cannot be overstated. The Pension Commission supports the Authority’s initiative in this regard and is pleased to be able to work with it and the industry representatives in enhancing its Code of Conduct.”

The working group comprises representatives from the Argus Group, Bermuda Investment Advisory Services (BIAS), Butterfield Bank, Capital G Group, Colonial Group, Freisenbruch-Meyer Group, First Bermuda Group, HSBC Bank, Kast Investment Management, and BF&M Group together with staff from the Authority and the Pensions Commission.

A draft of the Code will be published for wider consultation before being issued in its final form. The Authority anticipates that the review by the working group will be completed by January 2010, with a Consultation Paper being published to the market by the end of March.

Allowing due time for consultation, it is expected that the revised Code will be issued by the end of the second quarter of 2010.

A comprehensive report in our Intelligence Report series titled "The Lowtax International Pensions Report" which has an in depth view on The Mechanics of Pensions Provision, 'High-Tax' Country Pension Regimes and 'Lowtax' Jurisdictions In Which To Locate Pensions Savings, is available in the Lowtax Library at http://www.lowtaxlibrary.com/asp/subs_reports.asp and a description of the report can be seen at http://www.lowtaxlibrary.com/asp/description_report14.asp

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