19 Jun 2006

Anger in Marianas as Government passes law stopping its payments to Retirement Fund

6:29 pm on 19 June 2006

Contributors to the Northern Marianas Retirement Fund are being told to take action after the Government changed the law to temporarily stop its obligations.

It is now legal for the government not to pay into the Fund for the next 18 months.

The president of the Commonwealth Association of Retired Persons, David Igitol, says at least 90 percent of its 2000 members oppose the new law.

He says further bills asking that the Fund write off the government's $125 million dollar debt owed to it and for a huge loan to the government to fund its Commonwealth Utilities Corporation will be tabled next month.

"The sad thing about this is that the Legislature went ahead and passed it without the benefit of a public hearing so people can ask questions, and they just rammed it through and within a day or two after the legislature passes it, its signed into"

He says the Retirement Fund is considering filing for bankruptcy or taking on a lawsuit against the government.