8 Jun 2012

CNMI pension fund soon to be under state of emergency

2:38 pm on 8 June 2012

The governor of the Northern Mariana Islands, Benigno Fitial, has declared a state of emergency for the financially troubled NMI Retirement Fund.

Governor Fitial says his executive order will become effective when the federal bankruptcy court has filed its judgment dismissing the Fund's Chapter 11 bankruptcy application.

Our correspondent, Mark Rabago, says the declaration suspends the power of the pension agency's board of trustees and administrator, and transfers the executive power to the Finance Secretary.

"It prevents the retirement fund from pursuing other lawsuits and suing the government, and it also prevents the retirement fund from repealing their attorneys, which has cost the Retirement Fund a pretty penny."

Mark Rabago says the Fund now joins the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation and the CNMI Health Corporation as agencies under a state of emergency.

The Fund emergency declaration will remain in effect for 30 days.