It appears from Acting Speaker Del. Bells statement from January 21, 2004 HOD session that the retirees and would be retirees face a very grim future. The Palau Pension Plan (government retirement plan) liability has increased to 24 million dollars in 2001. He he said that once we get the new actuarial report for years 2002 and 2003, it will have ballooned up to around 30 million dollars. Worse, the government payroll is way not enough to cover the monthly retirement checks, this has forced the Board of Pension Plan to draw not the interests but from the reserve funds to pay the ever increasing number of retirees. If left unfunded, the retirees will face a payless payday. However, the Acting Speaker did not say when at this current pace of borrowing does the plan go bankrupt. He only mentioned that those who are recieving retirement checks today are taking in the benefits, while the future retirees might not see their return on investment.
So what do we do? the Acting Speaker even admit that he doesn't know where to find money to fund the plan. From his report, past administrations and congresses had opted to ignore the issue when they were in a better financial position to invest more funding to the plan to prevent what is happening today.
I think this is a biggie that our leaders must pay attention to. This is a prime example of issues that our leaders were elected to tackle, and not to spend their time up there worrying about vehicle license plates while a big chunk, or the only chunk of people's livelyhood is going bankrupt. This to our leaders represents a legal commitment and responsibility to come up with funding to ward off a disaster in the making. If the pension liability is permitted to grow over a long period of time, it will certainly have a devastating effect on the Republic's financial condition.
Well, let's see if it is swept under the rug again.