More efficient planning for retirement

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 July, 2020 at 9:53 am by Andre Camilleri

The Ministry for the Family, Children’s Rights and Social Solidarity is pleased to announce that, on the 20th of July, it signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Bank of Valletta and MAPFRE MSV Life on financial capability education.

During the term of this agreement, which is five years, the Bank of Valletta and MAPFRE Life will work with the Ministry’s ĠEMMA Know, Plan, Act financial capability platform to: (a) develop a retirement planner tool as a responsive website application; (b) work with economic operators involved in retirement planning so that this tool becomes the de facto standard, and thus ensuring that persons interested in investing in a personal private pension plan have access to a common ‘authoritative, trusted, and independent’ pension projections generated under the ĠEMMA brand; and (c) carry out of joint financial capability awareness and education initiatives.

Michael Falzon, the Minister responsible for ĠEMMA, thanked both the Bank of Valletta and MAPFRE MSV Life for the financing of the responsive website retirement tool, which will be designed on knowledge provided by ĠEMMA of how the social security contributory pension systems works. Minister Falzon added that consistent and authoritative information on pension projections will result in better informed retirement related decisions by Maltese citizens, as well as increased confidence in the providers of pension products. The Minister expressed the expectation that pension providers will respond positively to this tool so that it becomes the de facto market standard.

Mark Musu, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry to whom ĠEMMA reports and chairperson of the Pensions Strategy Group, stated that the establishment of such Memoranda of Agreement between ĠEMMA and prominent institutions such as the Bank of Valletta and MAPFRE MSV Life is a strategic goal of the Retirement and Financial Capability strategy that the Ministry launched in 2017. The establishment of such strategic partnerships ensures that Malta adopts a collaborative and coordinated approach in instilling a financial capability culture. Mr Musu thanked the ĠEMMA team which, within a relatively short time, built a comprehensive portfolio of financial capability knowledge dissemination and project activity which has rendered it a credible platform with which financial institutions such as the Bank of Valletta and MAPFRE MSV Life are ready to associate themselves with.

Kenneth Farrugia, Chief Business Development at Bank of Valletta, stressed on the importance of financial education, particularly in the field of personal pension plans. This especially in a country that has relied on state pension for decades. As the fiscal burden on the next generation entering the labour market is expected to continue to increase to sustain an ever-growing ageing population, personal pension planning will be crucial to enable retirees to sustain their standard of living. The retirement calculator that is planned to be developed as a result of the collaboration entered into between the government, BOV and MAPFRE MSV Life will be a highly important financial planning tool for clients that wish to plan ahead for their retirement.

David G Curmi, CEO of MAPFRE MSV Life, said that as the leading provider of both Personal Pension Plans and Voluntary Occupational Pension Plans in the Maltese market, the company was focused on providing financial education with a focus on the importance of long-term retirement planning. He said that the collaboration being created with ĠEMMA and BOV through the signing of this MOU would ensure that consistent, relevant, insightful and authoritative messages are communicated in the market. MAPFRE MSV Life has contributed through its actuarial team to the development of the logic for the responsive website retirement tool. Mr. Curmi expressed his confidence that this is set to become the industry standard tool in terms of retirement planning, which would benefit consumers and employees supporting them to plan adequately and effectively for their retirement.

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