VM targets big pensions market


Published:Friday | September 9, 2022 | 12:08 AM

With some 815 private pension plans covering only a fraction of Jamaica’s 1.2 million workforce, the deal inked Tuesday by VM Pensions and the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association, JMEA, for a private pension plan covering workers in the manufacturing sector, targets a large underserved market that is made up of more than 88 per cent of eligible participants.

“The main target for this pension plan is the membership of the JMEA, affiliated companies, and by extension their workers and families,” CEO of VM Pensions Management Limited Conroy Rose told the Financial Gleaner in an interview following the launch.

Rose said discussions on the pension scheme started in earnest when the relative success of a new pension programme for transport sector workers became apparent. VM Pension’s partnership with transport workers was introduced in February 2022 and has been growing, according to Rose.

He pointed out that the pension product developed for the manufacturing sector allows works to access short-term loans against their pensions. It also prepares a company for approaching the equities market, he said without elaborating.

As at March 31, 2022, the pensions regulatory body, the Financial Services Commission, FSC, has reported that the total value of assets in the Jamaican pensions industry amounted to $712.26 billion. Total membership stood at 142,778, representing an 11.36-per-cent coverage of the labour force, according to the FSC.