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Last updateThu, 21 Nov 2019 12am







    Wednesday, November 20, 2019-8:12:52P.M.






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Government to proceed with pension obligation bond

THE Commonwealth government will proceed with a pension obligation bond to provide “greater stability” for retirees, Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios announced on Thursday.

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Lt. Gov. Arnold Palacios speaks during a media conference, Thursday, in the conference room of the governor’s office.  Photo by Bryan Manabat

In a media conference, Palacios said he, along with Finance Secretary David Atalig, had a teleconference with bond rating firms and officials of the Commonwealth Development Authority to discuss the CNMI’s pension obligation bond options.

He said the goal is to help the Commonwealth meet its obligations to the federally created Settlement Fund at least in fiscal year 2020.

Palacios said in the next two weeks a bond rating for the CNMI will be issued, which will set in motion the bond flotation.

He added this POB will finance Settlement Fund payments only.

In August, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres signed Public Law 21-4, which provides the CNMI government pension obligation bond options so it can meet its obligation to the Settlement Fund at least for fiscal year 2020.

Atalig said the government plans to float $65 million, adding that the POB will be repaid through the CNMI general fund.

“So we anticipate that payment will not be [made] until fiscal year 2021, but we will make sure that payment is included in the FY 2021 budget package,” he added.

P.L. 21-4 states that the CNMI “may issue general obligation refunding bonds of the Commonwealth to pay or provide for the payment of all or any part of the then-outstanding bonds of the Commonwealth issued under this article, at or before their maturity or redemption date, and may include various series and issues of those outstanding bonds in a single issue of refunding bonds and bonds otherwise to be issued pursuant to this article in a single issue of bonds.”