The House Ways and Means Committee has recommended full House passage of a bill funding the pension of 16 individuals who opted out of a global NMI Retirement Fund settlement class that has over 4,000 members.
Once the committee report is adopted, the House could act on House Bill 18-130 as early as today.
Authored by Rep. Mario Taitano (Ind-Saipan), HB 18-130 seeks to reserve any lapsed funds from a certain account—business unit NMI DC Employer Contribution—to pay for retired Fund members that have decided to opt out of the class action settlement deal.
The Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Rep. Tony Sablan (Ind-Saipan), said if DC members withdraw their funds, the government will not have to pay the 4 percent employer contribution, creating a lapse of funds from that particular account.
This can be used to help fund the retirement benefits of retiree opt-outs, said the committee. It recommends passage of the bill in its current form.
Taitano said there’s still no telling how much the lapsed funds would be, but that retiree opt-outs would also receive at least 75 percent of retirees’ pension just like those who are in the settlement class.
On Tuesday, retirees who had not opted out of the settlement deal started seeing a 25-percent cut in their pension checks.
That same day, retirees who opted out of the settlement class did not get their pension checks.
One of those who opted out, Jess Taisague, 56, sued the government yesterday for diminishing and impeding his constitutional right to receive his pension.