A Senate bill offering to pay back a one-time lump sum payment of Social Security contributions to those who have reached 60 years of age but do not have enough qualifying quarters, received full support from the House of Delegates’ Ways & Means Committee yesterday, December 10.

The bill also entitles contract workers making permanent exit from Palau to receive refund for the amount they contributed to Social Security.

Currently, when a person who worked and contributed to Social Security reach retirement age but does not have enough qualifying quarters, he or she will not be eligible to receive Social Security benefit payment, defeating the primary purpose of Social Security.

Additionally, a foreign worker who works and pays contribution to Social Security leaves Palau, he or she will not be able to benefit from their contributions to Social Security.

House reports states that in the interest of equity, “foreign employees who contribute to social security should be entitled to withdraw their contributions upon their cessation of work and exit from the Republic.”

According to the report, they’ve met Social Security Administration to discuss “the intent, content and feasibility of the bill” and was assured by SSA that the bill will not negatively impact Social Security Administration.

The House Ways & Means Committee commended Senate Ways & Means & Financial Matters Committee for proposing the bill and unanimously recommended the bill for full adoption after adding additional languages for clarity. (L.N. Reklai)