31 Mar 2016

American Samoa senators question employment payout

9:50 am on 31 March 2016

Senators in American Samoa have been told that a former executive director of the Retirement Fund was given a $US 67,000 payout because he was owed thousands of hours of leave.

American Samoa's House of Representatives chamber during the vote on the bill to increase salaries.

American Samoa legislature Photo: Supplied

The former Retirement Fund office executive director, Luatua Filisouaiga Ta'afua, had more than 2,000 hours of leave being owed to him when his service was terminated.

The payout was the key issue during a Senate committee hearing as lawmakers tried to find out why Luatua got such a big payout.

The American Samoa Government Employees Retirement Fund board chairman, Va'anatiu Tofala Iafeta, revealed that Luatua needed to be paid or else the Retirement Fund will face liability with a future lawsuit.

He says Luatua was entitled to a $US115,000 payout but after negotiations it was decreased to $US67,000.

The senators were not happy nor satisfied with Va'anatiu's explanation of the payout but the board chairman insisted that the payout was legal in accordance with previous policies.

Policies have since changed to the government employee policy of only 480 hours carried over every year.