Emergency pension relief to be fast-tracked
Legislation to allow one-time withdrawals from private pensions could be fast-tracked through the House of Assembly on Friday, David Burt revealed last night.
Mr Burt said Cabinet today will discuss existing regulations to protect the community from the coronavirus pandemic, as well as further economic relief measures, including the pensions scheme.
He added: “In times of crisis, you have to make extraordinary decisions.”
He said the pensions legislation would be tabled this Friday in the House of Assembly in light of the “massive demands” imposed by the need to recover from the economic impact of the pandemic.
Mr Burt added that in normal conditions “pensions are not made for us at any point in time — they are savings for our retirement”.
However, he said Bermuda was in “a far different place” compared to the past.
Mr Burt added: “There is a large amount of savings and persons who have access to this money should not wait until they are 65.”
He told the public: “If you're in poverty, if you're hurting now, you are going to reduce your life expectancy.”
Mr Burt said the move would not only allow individual pension holders to dip into their funds, but would also provide relief for owners of small businesses.
He added he planned to discuss the matter with the Opposition in a hope to push the emergency withdrawal legislation through its first, second and third readings to allow the Senate to vote on it.
Mr Burt said the alternative would mean a wait of two weeks until legislators returned to the House on May 22.