The chief internal auditor of the NMI Retirement Fund is the new officer-in-charge of the pension agency after the Fund's trustee ad litem appointed Lilian Pangelinan as acting administrator yesterday.
NMI Retirement Fund Trustee ad litem Joseph C. Razzano visited the office yesterday where he spent his first day taking part in a series of meetings, including briefings with the agency's actuary and investment consultant.
Ad litem is a court legal term which refers to a guardian appointed to prosecute or defend a suit on behalf of a party who is legally incapable of doing so, in this case, the Fund trustees.
Razzano announced the new appointment in a statement yesterday. Pangelinan has been serving as chief internal auditor for the Fund the past 18 months. Prior to her employment at the pension agency, she had served as the assistant vice president, operations at Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corp. and the banking administrator at the Department of Commerce.
The Fund lost its administrator following the expiration of Richard Villagomez's contract in August. The deputy administrator, Esther Ada, also quit the position effective last Friday. The Fund also has no functioning board of trustees because it only has two members onboard.
Pangelinan told Saipan Tribune yesterday that she will continue managing the operations of the agency.
“As the newly appointed acting administrator, my immediate plans are to continue managing the Fund's day-to-day operations. This includes managing the refund of employee contributions by active and inactive Defined Benefit members as authorized by P.L. 17-82,” she told Saipan Tribune, referring to the new law that authorized the refund of active members' contributions in order to terminate the DB plan members.
As of yesterday afternoon, over 300 active members formally submitted their refund applications to the agency, and the number is expected to grow in the coming days.
Also yesterday, Razzano received a briefing from the Fund's actuary, Dylan Porter of Buck Consultants and the Fund's investment consultant, Maggie Ralbovsky of Wilshire Associates, on the financial status of the Fund and its investments. He also received an update on the status of the Fund's local investments.
The trustee ad litem also took the opportunity to meet with the president of board of directors of the Commonwealth Retirees Association, Lorenzo Cabrera, to hear the retirees' concerns.
CRA, meantime, had scheduled a membership meeting Friday to discuss the status of the pension program and to elect new officers of the group. Also invited to address the membership assembly is the trustee ad litem.