17 Sep 2010

Marshall Islands Social Security asks government for help to prevent bankruptcy

6:02 am on 17 September 2010

Marshall Islands Social Security officials have warned the government that the retirement programme is heading for bankruptcy unless it takes immediate action.

Because the cost of benefit payments is exceeding revenue, the agency has had to withdraw money out of its investments for the first time in ten years.

Social Security officials say the amount they have to withdraw to meet the rising beneficiary payments will increase and wipe out their investment fund in the next few years.

Our correspondent Giff Johnson says the retirement programme will have to be reviewed.

"Most of the people who receive benefits have actually received more than they originally paid into the system in taxes and they maybe also proposing some controls on beneficiaries beyond the original person paying taxes."

Giff Johnson reporting from the Marshall Islands.