In the 1600s the average life expectancy of an Englishman was 40 years. Everything considered, Somers did well to live to age 56. Provision of pensions was not an issue of his day.
Even in the 1880s, when Chancellor Otto von Bismarck introduced the world’s first state pension in Germany, few would reach the qualifying age of 70.
People now live longer and many governments struggle to maintain sufficient funds for pensions. Increasingly, governments have legislated to require private sector employers to provide employees with pension benefits, thus partly relieving the government burden.
Bermuda is no exception. Bermuda’s National Pension Scheme (Occupational Pensions) Act 1998 and its regulations are known as Bermuda’s local pension regime. The 1998 Act requires Bermuda private sector employers to establish or participate in pension plans for employees who are Bermudians and spouses of Bermudians.
Prior to the 1998 Act, there were no statutory obligations on Bermuda’s private sector employers to provide employees with pensions. However, pension funds established in Bermuda were required to comply with the Pension Trust Funds Act 1966 unless the employer benefitted from an exemption.