CNMI GOVERNMENT, AGENCIES OWE PENSION FUND $221 MILLION

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School System tops list of unpaid employer contributions

By Moneth Deposa SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, Jan. 10, 2012) - Autonomous agencies and the central government have accumulated a total of US$221.054 million in unpaid employer contributions to the Retirement Fund as of Nov. 30 last year in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).

In his report to the board, acting Fund comptroller Pablito Amog disclosed that the central government owes the pension agency US$181.042 million while autonomous departments' unpaid obligation now totals US$40.012 million.

It was also learned that, except for the CNMI government itself, no autonomous agencies are complying with the newly mandated 60.8 percent employer contribution rate since Oct. 1, 2011, adding to these agencies debt with the Fund.

Among independent agencies, the Public School System tops the list with the highest unpaid employer contribution of US$26.7 million, followed by the Northern Marianas College, which owes US$6.4 million. Other agencies on the list are the Tinian Municipal Treasury, US$1.6 million; Commonwealth Utilities Corp., US$3.9 million; Commonwealth Health Center, US$328,090; Commonwealth Development Authority, US$10,128; Commonwealth Ports Authority, US$67,323; Marianas Visitors Authority, US$786,103;Tinian Gaming Commission, US$26,742; and the Tinian Municipal Office, US$23,300.

[PIR editor’s note: Meanwhile the Northern Marianas Island Retirement Fund urges the Legislature to suspend action on the early retirement bill now pending in the House of Representatives. See separate story.]

Besides the unpaid employer contributions, the Fund disclosed that the CNMI government also failed to remit other obligations to the agency, including the death claims loan payment of US$299,776 for 10 months plus 10 percent penalty; the judicial building loan payment with an accumulated total of US$1.187 million as of Nov. 30, 2011; and the unremmitted US$1.7 million balance for the fiscal year 2011 appropriations and US$727,882 in unremitted 20 percent and 30 percent hotel and container taxes.

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