The Role of the FSC and the Pension Industry

The problems experienced in Jamaica, in the middle of the 1990’s, when the life insurance industry and most of the banking sector collapsed led the government and regulators to examine the causes. Measures were implemented that were aimed at solving the problems associated with the life insurance industry. In the process, a number of life insurance companies were forced to merge to ensure viability. In contrast, the general insurance industry saw only one failure which was salvaged through government assistance.

General Information

The FSC was given the mandate to regulate and supervise the pensions industry. This mandate includes the approval and registration of approved superannuation funds and retirement schemes, the registration of trustees and responsible officers and the licensing of administrators and investment managers. The FSC provides these and other regulatory services in order to protect pension plan beneficiaries as well as to support a healthy and stable pension industry.

A critical component in building a stable industry and protecting pension plan beneficiaries is ensuring that trustees and their agents such as administrators and investment managers operate in an ethical manner and therefore faithfully discharge their fiduciary responsibilities. It is for this reason that the FSC, under Phase I of the pension reform agenda with the approval of the Minister of Finance, promulgated four (4) set of regulations namely the:

  • The Pensions (Superannuation Funds and Retirement Schemes) (Registration, Licensing And Reporting) Regulations
  • The Pensions (Superannuation Funds and Retirement Schemes) (Governance) Regulations
  • The Pensions (Superannuation Funds and Retirement Schemes) (Investment) Regulations; and
  • Pensions (Superannuation Funds and Retirement Schemes) (Specified Pension Fund And Specified Pension Schemes) Regulations


Registration and Licensing Requirements

Under the Pensions (Superannuation Funds And Retirement Schemes (Registration, Licensing And Reporting) Regulations, 2006 ( “RLR Regulations”) persons that sell or otherwise distribute contracts under the Master Trust Deed of an approved retirement scheme are required to be a dealer’s representative or sales representative. Pursuant to the Securities Act a dealer’s representative is a person employed by, acting for or by arrangement with, a dealer, who performs for that dealer, any of the dealer’s functions (other than work ordinarily performed by accountants, clerks or cashiers) whether paid by way of salary, wages, commission or otherwise. A sales representative, in keeping with the Insurance Act, means an individual employed by an insurer, agent or broker, to solicit applications for insurance or to negotiate insurance on behalf of that insurer or agent or on behalf of the client or broker, as the case may be, and includes a collector.

A dealer representative is required under the Securities Act and the RLR Regulations to be registered by the Financial Services Commission (“FSC”). Similarly, a sales representative must be registered by the FSC based on the Insurance Act and the RLR Regulations.

Financial Requirements

Dealer and Sales Representatives

There are no financial requirements for a dealer’s representative or a sales representative.

Educational Requirements

In considering the qualifications to be met by persons applying to be registered as dealer’s representatives, the FSC has established educational criteria to be satisfied by all applicants. These requirements were initially embodied in the Securities (Licensing and Registration) Regulations, 1996 which were approved by the Honourable Minister of Finance on the 15th May, 1996 and published in the Jamaica Gazette on the 20th May, 1996. However there have been subsequent amendments. In summary, all that must be submitted by persons applying for registration as a dealer’s representative are: certified copies of their passport, academic qualifications, marriage certificate, police report, two colour passport sized photographs (certified), confidential reports from two previous employers (within a five year period), name and full contact details of three character referees.  

Persons applying to be registered as a dealer’s representative must possess either: –

a)      A Bachelor’s or higher degree in Economics, Accounting or business related subjects; or

b)      A professional qualification in Law or Accounting .

c)       A Diploma or Certificate in Economics, Accounting or business related subjects from a tertiary educational institution approved by the FSC.

In the case of sales representatives the qualifications to be met are set forth below:

a)      Associateship of the Chartered Insurance Institute (ACII) Qualification or equivalent.

b)      Certificate from the College of Insurance & Professional Studies in the class(es) of insurance business for which registration is being sought.

Approved Courses

The FSC has provided a flexible range of qualifications leading to eligibility for registration. Currently, the following courses are approved for individuals who wish to be considered for registration as a dealer’s representative or Sales representative:
Dealer’s Representative

1. Financial Securities Management (offered by the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean)
2. The Jamaican Securities Course (offered by UTech/JIM School of Advanced  Management)
3. The Canadian Securities Course (offered by the Canadian Securities Institute)
4. The Portfolio Management Certificate Programme (offered by Fitz-Ritzon and Associates). Please note that this course has as its prerequisite, an undergraduate degree and /or certification in securities or financial programmes such as the Jamaican Securities Course.
5. Post Graduate Diploma in Financial Services Management (offered by the Jamaica Stock Exchange e-Campus)

The concept of a standard course in securities is, however, important and as such the FSC reserves the right to require all new applicants to undertake such a course.

Sales Representative

Salesman Examination administered by the College of Insurance & Professional Studies in the class(es) of insurance business for which registration is being sought.

Registered Entities / Individuals

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