In anticipation of the upcoming fiscal year 2023, which starts on Oct. 1, 2022, the Torres administration has renewed its pledge and promise to NMI retirees by committing public taxpayer funds to cover the first quarter of fiscal year 2023 to pay for their additional 25% pension benefits, which is on top of the 75% mandated pension under the U.S. District Court for the NMI-stipulated and approved settlement agreement.
According to Finance Secretary David DLG Atalig, $3.27 million, or $545,000 bi-weekly, will be remitted to the CNMI Retirement Settlement Fund to cover the first quarter of fiscal year 2023 for the period Oct. 1, 2022, to Dec. 31, 2022, as committed by Gov. Ralph DLG Torres.
According to Atalig, the record “will unequivocally show that Gov. Torres has promised to prioritize our NMI retirees time and again each fiscal year, since he became governor to date. Although the 25% is not mandated under the settlement agreement, the governor has delivered through his actions in remitting this portion amounting to $14 million to $15 million annually to ensure that each living retiree and/or surviving dependents receive 100% of their well-deserved retirement pension.”
Torres said: “I cannot imagine not taking care of all our retirees and their surviving dependents and not honoring them for their lifetime sacrifices, serving our people, and our beloved island community for many decades. I am not only duty-bound, but it is the most sensible and ethical obligation that we as leaders ought to commit and deliver. Anything less is unacceptable, to be honest.” (PR)