The NMI Retirement Fund has completed all direct deposit payments on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota, and distributed all except for 69 checks, as part of the disbursements of over $40 million in defined benefit plan employee contributions refunded to over 1,700 recipients.
Fund in-house legal counsel Viola Alepuyo said yesterday that all the direct deposit payments have been made for all three islands and all of the checks on Tinian have been handed out.
Alepuyo said all but 62 checks on Saipan have been distributed.
“We don’t have updated numbers for Rota; however, as of the end of business yesterday [Wednesday], all but seven checks were distributed,” she said.
Alepuyo said she could not give a specific amount on the disbursements yet since there are changes every hour as waivers continue to come in.
Alepuyo said there are a total of 1,710 recipients: 1,372 on Saipan, 141 on Tinian, and 197 on Rota. She said 708 are checks and the rests are ACH (automated clearing house).
The lawyer said that many people appreciate the hard work of the Fund staff. One recipient was thankful “for all the hardworking Fund staff,” bought pizza, and had it delivered to the Fund yesterday.
“The Fund staff were very appreciative of the generous gesture of the donor. And in turn the Fund’s staff’s spirits were high and were very thankful for the recipient’s generosity,” she said.
Some $10 million were earlier disbursed following U.S. District Court for the NMI designated judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood’s preliminary approval of the Johnson settlement agreement on Aug. 6.
The remaining $42 million was released after Tydingco-Gatewood’s final approval of the settlement agreement and then after legislative approval. The judge gave the final approval last Sept. 30.