27 Jan 2003

Concern over viability of North Pacific retirement scheme

5:13 pm on 27 January 2003

There is concern over a possible bankruptcy of the retirement fund for employees of the former US Trust Territory government which administered Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and the Mariana Islands after the Second World War.

The Saipan-based fund administrator, Jerry Facey, says the fund balance has plummeted to 200-thousand US dollars and will last only a few months.

He says US aid is needed to keep it going.

The possible bankruptcy would affect more than 2-thousand families in the Marshall Islands and Micronesia who receive 40 dollars a month each.

Mr Facey says the beneficiaries have failed to receive five months worth of payments because of a shortage of money.

The US House of Representatives has approved a 2 million dollar injection into the fund - a move which is yet to be voted on by the Senate.