The organization representing policyholders and investors of the collapsed Clico International Life Insurance Limited is asking the High Court to shield bonds set aside for its successor company from the Government’s bond restructuring process.
The Barbados Investors and Policyholders Alliance (BIPA) is asking the High Court to prevent any possibility of the Government altering the terms of the bond which had been set aside for its successor company – New Life Insurance Company (NLICO).
BIPA president June Fowler said when her organization and the Clico judicial managers appeared in court this afternoon, the matter was adjourned for two weeks so BIPA officials can get documents from the lwayers of the judicial managers that were pertinent to the case.
“The judge also wants to have other parties present . . . so he gave us two weeks to December 7 when we should have everything in place,” Fowler told Barbados TODAY.
“The NLICO bond that was set aside to pay the EFPA [Executive Flexible Premium Annuity] policyholders, we are seeking to determine that that bond should not be included in the BERT [Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation] programme. It should be separate from the other bonds that the Government is restructuring. So we are challenging that,” she explained.
Under the BERT plan the Mia Mottley Administration has embarked on a debt restructuring programme in which it exchanged the old bonds of pensioners for new instruments, but with more unfavourable conditions.
But the move which saw bond maturity payouts stretching to 15 years and interest payments significantly slashed, sparked an outcry by pensioners and their organization – the Barbados Association of Retired Persons (BARP).
This caused Government to intervene after most of the bondholders had signed up to bring relief to the affected pensioners.
Just last week, Government made good on its promise under the domestic debt restructuring programme and pensioners 60 years and over were to have started receiving a cash payment of up to $20,000 since Monday.
This disclosure came from Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Ryan Straughn, who said Government had amended the repayment terms for those individuals 60 years and above in receipt of pension benefits as of September 1, 2018.
Straughn explained that the new terms for pensioners would bring relief and would be a cash payment of up to $20,000, and a cash payment of up to $30,000 would be made in March 2019.