Senate President Hokkons Baules and House Speaker Sabino Anastacio have tasked the Ways and Means Committees of both houses of Olbiil Era Kelulau to propose legislation appropriating $2.2 million from the Fisheries Protection Trust Fund to support both Social Security and Pension Plan.

It is unclear why both leaders did not propose the bill themselves, instead assigning chairmen of both houses’ Ways & Means Committees to do so but what is certain is the retirees’ growing concern about the future of the programs, especially the Pension Plan.

A petition urging OEK to ensure that Pension Plan benefit payments do not change and the program is strengthened, is being circulated for signatures.

Both social entitlement services are paying out more in benefits than what they are collecting from contributions.  Both entities are pulling money from their investments to pay for the shortfalls, placing the well-being of both programs in jeopardy.

The Pension Plan pays out $10.7 million a year in benefits and collects $7.05 million in contributions.  This means they must get $2.7 million from somewhere to pay the shortfall.  Without government subsidy or another source of revenue, Pension draws down money from the remaining $26 million investment each year to fund shortage.

President Whipps said that depletion of the investment does not mean the program collapses.  It means that the benefit payments will be reduced to only what is collected, meaning that pensioners will receive about 70% of what they currently receive.

The current proposal by leaders of OEK barely covers the yearly deficiency of each program.  The Pension Plan, for example, needs $2.7 million a year to cover its shortfall, but the current proposal would only cover $1.2 million for one year. 

Proposals to create more self-sufficient pension and social security systems are still pending.

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