Retirees to get full pension on May 30

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GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres and Finance Secretary David DLG Atalig said retirees will receive their full pension on May 30.

During a videoconference with the press corps on Wednesday, Torres said he, Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios, and Atalig met with lawmakers on Tuesday to address the payment of the 25% of the retirees’ pension that was suspended on April 15.

The governor said his administration has been working to ensure that retirees will get their benefits in full as early as possible.

However, Torres said there are “a few challenges” with money transfer this week, so they decided that the retirees will get paid their pension in full “starting May 30 and moving forward.”

In an email, Atalig said due to the “missed transfer deadline” with the Settlement Fund, “we are not able to include the 25% payment to the retirees for the May 15 pension payment.”

However, he added, “we will begin to pay retirees their full pension starting May 30, 2020.”

The CNMI government, he said, will use general funds to pay for the retirees’ 25% until such time that a measure to utilize the annual casino license fee of $15 million is enacted into law.

Under the settlement agreement, the government must pay 75% of the retirees’ benefits. But with the improvement of the economy due to the entry of new investors and a rise in tourism arrivals, the CNMI government had also been paying the 25% of the retirees’ benefits.

However, Super Typhoon Yutu, which hit Saipan and Tinian in Oct. 2018, and the ongoing Covid-19 crisis have significantly weakened the local economy, resulting in a steep drop in government revenue.


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