First Citizen Investment Services has launched a retirement plan, which it has describes as “a superior retirement product designed for individuals with monthly fixed and variable income seeking a medium to save for retirement and simultaneously benefit from investing in higher yielding financial instruments.”
“What we are trying to do is offer to individuals the tools to ensure that they are adequately planning for their future,” Norlann Gabriel, country manager of First Citizens Investment Services Ltd., said at the launch in Kingstown on Tuesday.
The plan has a minimum start-up of EC$100 monthly, and persons must contribute for at least 10 years.
At maturity, there are several payment options, including a one-time lump sum or a partial encashment with annuity.
Gabriel said that while the plan has no management fees or administrative charges, holders can receive annual tax deductions.
“So, it is feeless investment plan trying to assist you with saving for retirement…
“The rates of return are highly competitive,” she said, adding, “… we do guarantee that your rates are always going to be 2 per cent above the savings rates.”
She further said the plan can be used as collateral for a loan.
Gabriel acknowledged that persons in the region are “understandably” investment shy after the developments in the insurance sector over the past few year.
She however noted that her firm is a securities rather than an insurance company.
“We are part of First Citizens Bank … the highest rates indigenous bank in the English-speaking Caribbean with investment grade with Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, which doesn’t mean that they grade us now and they move on.
“It means we are under constant scrutiny — our revenue, where our costs are going… That is constantly being scrutinised and our rating are adjusted accordingly,” she said.