28 Mar 2006

American Samoan Senate to consider amending retirement fund

3:14 pm on 28 March 2006

The American Samoan senate may introduce amendments to laws connected to the Government Employees Retirement Fund.

The senate is holding hearings this week to review the operations and financial reports of the fund over concerns that the government uses the fund as a loan source or collateral for loans.

The fund itself totals about 165 million U.S. dollars with a loss reported of 30 million dollars for 2001 in the wake of terrorist attacks on the U.S.

Our correspondent in Pago Pago, Fili Sagapolutele, says the senate acknowledges that the fund has reported profits in the years following but it wants a lot more information about its operations, and remains concerned over the territorial government's use of it.

"It goes back to their major concern that this fund is being used by the government as a funding source. And, they're also thinking of amending the laws. That way the government cannot use this retirement fund as a funding source for any loans in the future."

Fili Sagapolutele says the House of Representatives may support amendments to the law as it's also concerned about the government's use of the fund.