Effective 1 January, 2000 mandatory occupational pension plans are required to be established for all Bermudian employees or the husband or wife of a Bermudian employee, employed in Bermuda by an employer, who are between the ages of 23 and 65 and who has completed 720 hours or more hours of employment with an employer in any given calendar year prior to membership in their employer’s pension plan. If you work for more than one employer and you satisfy the above criteria, you are required to be enrolled in each employer’s pension plan and make the required contributions to each plan.
Employers may permit an employee to join the plan earlier and voluntarily include non-Bermudian employees in their pension plan.
Employers are required to establish and register pension plans in accordance with the National Pension Scheme (Occupational Pensions) Act 1998 and Regulations made thereunder and to make required employer pension contributions (currently 5% of an employee’s pensionable earnings) into the plan along with the employee’s required contributions (also currently 5% of an employee’s pensionable earnings). However, an employer may choose to contribute all or part of the required employee’s contributions on their behalf. You and your employer contributions will be vested and locked-in after 1 year of plan membership (or earlier if the plan permits).
Plans will also allow for voluntary contributions, and you are encouraged to make regular, additional monthly voluntary contributions to enhance your pension at retirement.
You may take early retirement from age 55 onwards, but in doing so you will generally receive a lower pension amount than if you retire at age 65, the normal retirement age.
Please note that the Act does not require a pension plan to be provided in respect of employment or service with the Government of Bermuda or employment or service for which a benefit accrues under the Public Service Superannuation Fund or Ministers and Members of the Legislature Pensions Fund. The Act also does not apply to the Contributory Pension Fund.