Marshalls govt seeks to avert pension fund collapse

7:23 pm on 2 May 2016

The Marshall Islands government is looking at ways to prevent the collapse of the country's pension fund.

The Marshall Islands Social Security Administration, or MISSA, has announced that it is in a very serious crisis and, if no action is taken, the fund will be bankrupt by 2023.

The MISSA's administrator, Saane Aho, said there would be a US$7 million deficit this year and the fund is drawing from its trust fund at unsustainable levels.

Saane Aho said she did not see that deficit decreasing unless there were significant changes to the country's Social Security Act, or the government injected funds into the the trust.

RNZ International's correspondent on Majuro, Giff Johnson, said among the proposed changes was an increase to the age of retirement and a reduction of beneficiary payments by 22 percent.

Cabinet Minister Mattlan Zackhras spoke to a pension workshop on Friday, with President Hilda Heine, MPs and monetary experts.

The government hopes to come up with a solution by the next parliamentary sitting in August.