Members who have been waiting for their refund contributions are becoming impatient as the NMI Retirement Fund has yet to disburse their checks, more than a month after the agency opened the application.
Based on the agency's website, only 200 applications-out of the total refund applications of 1,733-have been marked with “certification of funds/payment processing” as of Oct. 25. No checks have been marked “disbursed” during the same period.
The website also states that of the total applications received, 300 were marked as “ongoing review and computation” while the rest are awaiting review.
Saipan Tribune has tried to obtain comments from acting Fund administrator Lillian Pangelinan on the possible release of the first batch of checks and the cause of the delay in the processing but no response was issued since last week.
Several members expressed disappointment over the long wait on the comment section of the Fund's website, where 19 total comments were posted. Other members, however, came to the defense of the Fund, which they believe needs more time to process all applications.
Based on the law that authorized the withdrawal of employee contributions, the release of 25 percent of contributions is mandated within 30 days, while the remaining 75 percent should be out within 90 days upon receipt of the first.
The agency opened application to members on Sept. 17.
Rota Rep. Teresita Santos (Ind-Rota) disclosed yesterday that many active members on Rota are complaining about what they call a “huge disparity” in the numbering system of the Fund. Santos immediately wrote to Pangelinan to clarify the issue.
“On numerous occasions, I have been approached by numerous active and inactive members from the First Senatorial District who have submitted their applications from the onset concerning a huge disparity in the numbering system. These members were listed after all the applications received on the island of Saipan, regardless of the date they submitted their applications. If this information is true, I empathize with these members and appeal to you to implement formal corrective actions immediately,” said Santos in her letter to Pangelinan.
Santos strongly urged Pangelinan to renumber the applications received from Rota according to the date and time it was originally submitted.
Saipan Tribune tried to get Pangelinan's comment yesterday but she was not available for interview.
Fund officials earlier disclosed that the funding to pay for all withdrawals will come from the $113 million set aside by the court for active members. The $113 million is part of the estimated value of the portfolio, which was at $223 million as of last month. The set-aside amount, based on the court order, cannot be used for other purposes other than for active members.