MISSA receives $99,252 FSTF Funding
The 231 Marshallese currently receiving benefits from the Prior Service Trust Fund (PSTF) are assured of continuous benefits until the end of July 2010 as $99,252 additional funding was received by the Administration from PSTF’s office in Saipan in November last year.
The money is part of the $500,000 additional funding that was approved by the Office of the Insular Affairs, US Department of Interior in early 20-09. The additional funding will be divided on a pro-rata basis among the four former members of the Trust Territory - the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Republic of Palau, Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
As of January 31, 2009, MISSA’s PSTF fund amounted to almost $63 thousand.
The Administration needs at least $11 thousand a month to pay off Marshallese PSTF beneficiaries.
In March 2009, MISSA received $7,400, just enough to pay-off the benefits for the month of March 2009.
The PSTF is a US funded program that provides benefits to Micronesians with five or more years of service with the Naval Administration or Trust Territory Government prior to 1968.
When the PSTF was decentralized in April 2006, the administration of the fund was transferred to the respective social security system of each of the four former members of the Trust Territory - Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands Republic of Palau, Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands.
In November 2007, the fund was depleted to almost zero which forced MISSA to put on hold its benefit payments. It was resumed in January 2008 when additional funding of $108,112 was received. Another $7,784 was received in July 2008.The fund ran out again in September 2008 and consequently, payments for September and October 2008 were put on hold until another $61,088 was received by MISSA in late 2008. This enabled the Administration to continue paying its beneficiaries up to February 2009.