9 May 2006

Northern Marianas retirement fund under threat from government actions

8:30 pm on 9 May 2006

There are concerns for the future of the Northern Marianas' Retirement Fund after the government revealed plans to write off its contributions to it.

The financially struggling government has put up legislation under which it hopes to write off 124 million US dollars it owes the Fund, suspend its employer contributions, borrow 40 million dollars and cut funds to the insurance program.

The Fund administrator, Karl Reyes, says it is unfortunate the government is looking at it to reduce its deficit.

He says government's latest proposal has come as a complete surprise.

"We have not heard whether the bill has been officially introduced, or still pending for introduction. But the governor and his two consultants were here to meet with board members regarding tha particular bill."

Karl Reyes says the Retirement Fund Board is due to meet again on May 11.