Will we still get the Retirement Fund balance due us?


Dear Ferdie de la Torre: Your work for the benefit of those whose lives were torn apart by the reduction in benefits is amazing. The retirement community is fortunate to have such a great champion for the rights of survivors and their beneficiaries. I want you to know the continuity of information distributed and made public by the Saipan Tribune and other very brave members of the Marianas press corps, including the Marianas Variety and contributors, merits a Pulitzer Prize in my opinion for everyone who showed their care and support for the elders. I just have one question:

Will survivors, who are bona fide beneficiaries of the Retirement Fund, be paid the balance due along with the other survivors? I experienced the loss of both my parents and have endured tremendous heartbreak and hardship as a result of the failure to have the amount promised in the original or modified retirement disbursement.

Presently my roof is leaking through the attic all the way to the basement. My house was facing foreclosure, which is quite traumatizing. I have no health insurance, my aunt for whom I am caregiver is having surgery and I drive a 19-year-old car. I left my job and apartment to care for my parents, secure in the knowledge that my father’s life insurance would provide me for predictable expenses over a certain period of time, which was also to cover my return to the job market in the District of Columbia. I am the sole beneficiary and waited months and months for [Saipan Tribune opts to withhold the name for now] to respond to me. There were many delays and many ignored attempts to reach him.

I believe I merit this balance of 25% as I certainly could never have believed such atrocity to deprive the elders by the misappropriation of their funds and breach of trust cause trauma for so many sick and elderly people who spent years of their lives contributing to the advancement of economic conditions for the people of the Northern Marianas Islands, whom our family grew to love very much.

What many people do not know is that my father suffered a mild stroke when he heard the news. My mother had cancer. For some time we did not want his vulnerability to be exposed. He did maintain all the correspondence and information, which suddenly ceased due to the laziness or disinterest of a specific person at the Retirement Fund in fulfilling his obligation to reply to insurance-related issues, which he did after considerable delay.

Please publish my letter. I believe people should know I continue to await a final reply whether I will be able to obtain necessary repairs to my house and car and very serious dental issues. There are others in my position equally lost concerning where to write, to whom any physical mail can be addressed.  I never have any correspondence from anyone in the court or the Retirement Fund informing me of progress. Without your news there are very limited avenues for information.

After the passing of my parents I needed an attorney, is specific person could have replied sooner and saved me the money, which I needed. My aunt and I went to food banks, borrowed from a church and sold our possessions to live.

I cannot locate an email address for those people who are active in advocates for the Fund. Many of the addresses in the account maintained by my family, SaipanStewart@aol.com, have changed. Could you please publish? I can be contacted at (681) 328-1327 voice mail or KathrynStewartMcDonald@hotmail.com. If anyone has a good contact for other retirees, please let them know I need information.

My love to Uncle Dave Sablan and his kind and gracious family.

Kathryn Stewart McDonald
1201 Larchwood Rd.
Chas West Virginia 25314

Kathryn Stewart McDonald

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