As of July 1st, the Temporary Pension Withdrawal application process is open for withdrawals of up to $6,000.
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the National Pension Scheme (Occupational Pensions) Act 1998 has been amended to allow a temporary one-time withdrawal by eligible persons from their occupational pension plan or local retirement product for a limited time.
Eligible applicants may now apply for the one-time withdrawal of up to $6,000 of their vested account balance. The application process is open from July 1st, 2021 until June 30th, 2022 at 11:59pm AST.
We encourage you to consider that your pension contributions are invested with a long-term view. Withdrawing funds prematurely may negatively impact the amount you have available upon retirement, potentially putting retirement plans at risk. If you do ultimately decide to make a withdrawal, it’s a good idea to plan how and when you will replace the funds. As an alternative to withdrawing the funds from your pension account, you may opt to have the funds unlocked and converted into voluntary funds within your pension account. This option will allow you to remain invested and to access the funds at a future date if the need arises.
Please note that the initial opportunity which ran from June 1st, 2020 until June 30th, 2021 and allowed for a withdrawal of up to $12,000, has now ended and applications are no longer being accepted.
See our list of frequently asked questions below for more details.
In order to be eligible, you must be under the age of 65 and a member of a defined contribution pension plan or local retirement product.
Members of defined benefit plans and members who are 65 or older, are not eligible for the one-time Temporary Pension Withdrawal under the Pensions Act amendment.
How to apply
There are two parts to the application process. To apply, you must:
- Complete and submit the online-fillable Application Form available below.
- Complete the ID verification process. This is done separately via a link that will be emailed to you by BF&M once your Application Form has been received.
Once you have submitted your Application Form, you will receive an email from BF&M with a link to our online ID verification platform. This email will also contain your unique tracking number (ESWxxxxxx). Please make a note of your number in case you need to follow up on the status of your application.
Your email address must be entered correctly in the Application Form to promptly receive the email containing the link. Please check your email junk folder if you haven't received the email within three business days.
When you click the ID verification link, you will need to upload an image of your government-issued photo ID and a selfie (with no filters applied). Your application is not complete without the ID verification process completed.
Processing times and payment
The approval of a standard and complete application can take up to 10 business days after the application is submitted. If your application is successful and the appropriate supporting documents are provided, you will receive notice that your application has been approved. Following the approval of your application, you should be paid within 20 business days.
Frequently asked questions
Where can I find details such as my Policy Number, Member ID or account balance?
- These details can be found on the Pension Portal. Your Policy Number and Member ID are listed under Statements. You can find out how much you have in your pension account under Account Balance.
How do I access the Pension Portal?
- You can log into the Pension Portal here. If you need help accessing the Pension Portal or setting up your online account, call +1 441 298 0301. Once within the portal, if support is needed, call the BF&M Customer Care team at +1 441 298 0358.
I don’t know my Social Insurance Number – does BF&M have it on file?
- No, the best place to find your Social Insurance Number would be with Bermuda Government’s Department of Social Insurance. You can call them at +1 441 294 9242.
Can I withdraw more than $6,000?
- No, you cannot withdraw more than $6,000 from your vested account balance.
Am I able to make two withdrawals – for example, if I wanted $3,000 now and $3,000 in six months?
- You cannot make more than one withdrawal per Pension Provider. Therefore, if you only have a pension with BF&M, you can only make one withdrawal request from them—however, if you also have a pension with another provider(s), you could make additional requests, as long as the total amount does not exceed the maximum allowance of $6,000.
If I already withdrew during the previous opportunity for up to $12,000 – can I do so again?
- Yes you can, provided you meet eligibility requirements and your vested account balance is sufficient.
I submitted an application during the previous withdrawal opportunity and have not heard whether it’s approved yet.
- We are in the process of reviewing and processing applications received prior to July 1st, 2021. To enquire about an open application, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, referencing your application number which is included in the subject line of your application emails from BF&M.
If I didn't make a withdrawal during the previous opportunity, am I allowed to now take out up to $18,000?
- No, each withdrawal opportunity is considered separate. The withdrawal window for $12,000 is now closed and this amount cannot be carried over.
Can I apply if I don’t reside on the island?
- Yes you can, provided you meet other eligibility requirements and you can provide details of an overseas bank account in your name. The online form allows you to put in overseas bank information.
We’re here to help.
Do you require additional assistance or need to contact us?
- Before you apply: If you have any questions about eligibility or the process itself and would like to speak with a BF&M representative, please call +1 441 298 0358.
- To follow up on a new or open application: if you have questions about your submitted application, please email us at email@example.com, referencing your application number which is included in the subject line of your application emails from BF&M.