Settlement Fund to update retirees via report, newsletter


U.S. District Court for the NMI designated judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood ordered NMI Settlement Fund trustee Joyce C. H. Tang on Thursday to issue semi-annual financial report and an annual newsletter to all retirees for keep them updated.

Tydingco-Gatewood gave the order after Rep. Tina Sablan (Ind-Saipan) told the court about the concerns of some retirees, especially those who have no access to the internet, who wish to have a regular report from the trustee.

Sablan said that retirees just want more communication.

Tang agreed to do more to provide information to those retirees who do not have online access.

David M. Sablan Sr., also known as Uncle Dave, recently wrote to Tydingco-Gatewood suggesting the newsletter as a way for retirees to obtain information about the Settlement Fund’s operations.

In response to David Sablan’s letter, Tang informed Tydingco-Gatewood during Thursday’s hearing that information regarding the Settlement Fund, including the CNMI government’s Minimum Annual Payment and investment reports, is posted monthly on the Settlement Fund website.

Tang said the Settlement Fund has published newsletters to update its membership on the status of their fund.

She said the next issue will be published and mailed to members in October 2019.

Tang said she and Fund administrator Lillian Pangelinan and the Fund’s investment consultant, Maggie Ralbovsky, have already met with David Sablan to discuss his concerns.

The trustee said they assured David Sablan at that meeting that the government has been making the MAP as required under the settlement agreement in Betty Johnson’s class action and advised him on the status of the Fund’s investments.

David Sablan also asked that information on the Settlement Fund’s investment performance be provided by mail to members as he believes that a number of the retirees do not have access or do not know how to access the Settlement Fund’s website.

Tang said they informed David Sablan that they will look into mailing brief quarterly or semi-annual reports to members.

Tang said in a later interview Thursday that they have taken David Sablan’s concerns into consideration.

“We are doing what we can to provide the information to them the old-fashioned way,” she said.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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