FSM SOCIAL SECURITY OFFICIALS MEET IN YAP

News Release

Federated States of Micronesia Department of Youth and Civic Affairs Colonia Yap June 30, 2008

Coinciding with the "FSM Social Security Week", which commemorates its 40th anniversary this week, the Social Security Administration Board members and staff are in Yap for the quarterly meeting as well as to hold a scheduled forum with the general public.

In a brief courtesy visit Governor Anefal welcomed the Board and staff to Yap and highlighted the public forum as a good opportunity for the people of the state and the SSA to have open dialogue on program issues.

According to Anefal, this will provide for better understanding of the system by the Yapese people.

One of the commonly heard complaints he said, is that of the lengthy processing time for new beneficiaries or even those who are supposed to be taken off the system.

It was also pointed out the due to current economic hardship, including rising cost of living, and the general makeup of the nation’s workforce, the social security system is looking at a bleak future. Thus, it places the challenge on the SSA to work with governments and the private sector to ensure the program sustains.

Governor Anefal said the government workforce may have already been overstretched. "If anything, it should be reduced in view of limited financial resources".

In that regard, the private sector has to be "beefed-up" to fill in the void.

Recent enactment of laws now allows SSA to solicit voluntary participation of citizens working abroad; however, a suitable mechanism has yet to be put in place for smooth and efficient implementation.

So far only one citizen abroad is participating.

Also mentioned is the US$40 million Trust Fund for the SSA program, but the law currently prevents it from being locally invested. It is hoped that some degree of confidence in local investment can be reached to shift this fund to the local economies.

Members of the mission include Chairman Jack Yakana, Vice Chairman Nahoy G. Selifis, Mr. Garrison Irons member, Mr. Charles Chieng member, Mr. Alex R. Narruhn Administrator, Tony Rutmaag Branch Manager, and their Information Officer.

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