Admin’s 3-pronged approach to help solve Fund crisis

Rep. Froilan Tenorio (Cov-Saipan) questioned yesterday whether Gov. Benigno R. Fitial can place the NMI Retirement Fund under the Department of Finance when it issues an executive order placing the Fund under a state of emergency. Press secretary Angel Demapan said “yes,” adding that the Fitial administration is now just working on the “final touches” to the EO.

There’s no telling as of yesterday, however, whether Fitial will wait for the judge’s written ruling before placing the Fund under a state of emergency and what the EO would entail.

Demapan cited the administration’s three-pronged approach to help address the Fund’s crisis: address the active employees in the Fund’s defined benefit program, the retirees, and active employees in the defined contribution plan.

“Once the transition to Social Security for active employees currently in the DB plan is complete, the government’s employer contribution rate for these employees will be less that the present. Thus, that difference in contribution rate will be significant as the administration intends to shift the additional funds that would result toward sustaining the funds for current retirees receiving their pension,” he said.

In essence, the administration, once the goal of getting into Social Security is complete, “does intend to increase the current appropriation of $10 million for those receiving pensions,” the press secretary added.

Senate President Paul Manglona (Ind-Rota) said it’s time the administration sits down with the Legislature to protect both retirees and active members.

Manglona reiterated that the House has been sitting on Senate legislative initiatives that will help prolong the Fund’s lifespan.

Haidee V. Eugenio | Reporter
Haidee V. Eugenio has covered politics, immigration, business and a host of other news beats as a longtime journalist in the CNMI, and is a recipient of professional awards and commendations, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s environmental achievement award for her environmental reporting. She is a graduate of the University of the Philippines Diliman.

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