Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Christopher Sinckler (third from left) being taken on a tour of ResLife by chairman of the Board, Clenell Goodman (second from right) and CEO, Cheryl Senhouse (left).

ResLife commences annuity payouts

Some policyholders of the collapsed CLICO International Life Insurance Limited (CIL) have started to receive annuity payouts from its successor, Resolution Life Assurance Company Limited (ResLife).

According to Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Christopher Sinckler, such has been the case since March 1. He was speaking after touring offices at the Worthing Corporate Centre yesterday morning, of ResLife and New Life Investment Company Inc., which have taken over the now defunct CIL’s portfolio and assets respectively here in Barbados. Mid-January in a press conference to launch the company, Chief Executive Officer, Cheryl Senhouse said that by the end of February, pensioners whose claims had been approved would begin to receive their money, and the company has been true to its word.

“For that we are also elated, that we have reached the stage where finally payments are being made; we’re coming good with our promise to make our policyholders whole again. It has been a long wait and some sufferance, or much sufferance in some instances. Of course we do all apologise for the length of time that that has taken, but some of those matters were beyond our immediate control… What we see here is a testimony to what can happen, even in instances where failure abounds,” Sinckler told the media.

He made point while noting that Government should be proud of the role it played in bringing a solution to fruition.

The finance and economic affairs minister explained that while the collapse of a similar company in another country would probably not have seen the policyholders being bailed out by Government, that has not traditionally been the case in Barbados.

“We feel that Barbadians who have worked hard and honestly for their keep, who are encouraged to invest and save, should be given the opportunity to benefit from those investments and savings. And where any failures occur, even though they may not be at the instance of Government or caused by Government, Government still has a fiduciary responsibility to its citizens to ensure that we can find a way, if not to make them entirely whole, to ensure that some value which is lost, or which can potentially be lost, is retained,” he said.

Speaking also to the media yesterday, Senhouse confirmed that pensions have started to be paid, revealing that the bill has been in the region $400,000 per month. Noting that they have paid those monies for January and February thus far, she said the goal is to ensure that current payments to those policyholders remain up to date and that the backlog that is owed to them is settled within the six-month timeframe originally outlined. The CEO went on to say that in the first instances those payments were made by cheque so as to ensure that the “payments are going into the right hands”.

“Persons who are going to receive payments at this point in time are claimants. So if someone’s policy matured during the course of judicial management, if someone died, their beneficiary would receive the payout from the policies. Any other policies where persons continued to pay their premiums those policies simply remain in force and then should something happen in the future, those persons are immediately able to benefit from the provisions of the policy,” she said.

The CEO added, “What has happened though is that because the company has been in judicial management for so long, there are a number of claims that arose under judicial management that have not been paid and those are the ones that we will be addressing in the very near future to settle those amounts to the policyholders.”

Senhouse revealed that in 2015 the unpaid claims amounted to approximately $40 million, she however did not provide the current figure, only stating that it has obviously grown since then. While not providing the current figure, she gave the assurance that ResLife is in a position to pay those claims once they have been approved. (JRT)

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