WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of the Interior has released a payment of $460,900 in fiscal year 2018 funding for the Prior Service Trust Fund administration, which distributes benefits to former employees of the post-World War II, U.S.-administered, Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands in the Western Pacific
“The United States continues to meet its commitment to 894 former employees for their prior service under U.S. administration in the larger Micronesia region,” said Assistant Secretary Insular and International Affairs Doug Domenech. “People in the Northern Mariana Islands, Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau rely on these payments for themselves and their families to meet every-day, practical needs.”
Employee benefits provided through the Prior Service Trust Fund represent a responsibility assumed by the federal government following the dissolution of the TTPI in 1986.
The program serves beneficiaries with five years or more of prior service.
The four jurisdictions to emerge from the TTPI were the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. Leadership of these four jurisdictions continues to advocate strongly for the PSTF program.
Beneficiaries receive monthly checks in varying amounts from $27 to $64 and have reported using them for medicine, food, utility payments, and telephone service to keep in touch with family. This grant payment represents approximately half of the fiscal year 2018 budget needs; the remaining balance is pending final action from Congress on the fiscal year 2018 budget and is supported through the Technical Assistance Program of the Office of Insular Affairs in the Department of the Interior. (PR)