Retirees get checks, govt meets shortfall

Posted on Dec 30 2005

Allaying fears of a blue New Year among retirees, the financially distressed government managed to remit the needed funds to meet the $2.3 million pension obligations to retirees yesterday.

NMI Fund administrator Karl T. Reyes said the Department of Finance paid a total of $875,000 in employer contributions, which the Fund used to meet its pension payment.

He said that $375,000 was remitted Thursday and the balance of $500,000 got in yesterday.

On top of this, the department also paid $121,000 for the health insurance program, Reyes said.

Autonomous agencies also remitted $700,000 in employer contributions, he said.

“We’ve got more than enough. We’ve been able to pay our retirees,” said Reyes.

The NMI Retirement Fund earlier cited a $1.4-million shortage for the Dec. 30 pension checks. Fund officials and a representative from the Retirees Association met earlier this week with Gov. Juan N. Babauta to lobby for the needed funds.

The Fund first settled its pension obligations to retirees who are getting their pay through bank accounts. Their money was deposited to their accounts about two days before yesterday.

Those who claim their pension checks directly from the Fund cashed them only yesterday.

There are some 2,000 government retirees who claim their pension from the Fund every 15 days, totaling $2.3 million or $55.2 million a year.

Retirees receive pensions ranging from a low of $6,000 to a high of $168,000 a year.

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