Cruz Will Make More Amendments to Hybrid Retirement Bill

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Cruz is still working on hashing out the details of the latest version of the hybrid retirement bill.

Guam – Vice-Speaker B.J. Cruz says they will be making more amendments to the hybrid retirement bill to include some suggestions made during yesterday’s roundtable hearing.

 

 Cruz is still working on hashing out the details of the latest version of the hybrid retirement bill. What’s in it so far? “It includes the basic hybrid that the retirement fund sent to us and it also included a cash balance plan which Senator Mike has renamed the Guam Retirement Security Plan and the eventual social security provision,” said Cruz.

 The Vice-Speaker says that during Wednesday’s roundtable hearing DOA Director Christine Baleto and Public Auditor Doris Flores Brooks expressed concerns with the cut off dates of the plans and the costs of the plan. “That one percent increase is going to cost the government of Guam five million dollars,”said Vice-Speaker Cruz.

 However the plan is to keep the annual cost the same by re-amortizing the payments and stretching them out over a longer period. Brooks says she used to be in favor of re-amortization but she’s now tired of extending the unfunded liability of the retirement fund.

 “I see light at the end of the tunnel 2031 a child who’s a baby today will graduate and so that is a short time frame so finally this major burden will be behind us,” said Brooks.

 The Vice-Speaker says that ASC Trust president David John indicated during the roundtable hearing that extending the amortization should not affect GovGuam’s credit rating.

 In light of this Cruz is inclined to re-amortize the payments to ensure that something is done to help the island’s D.C. Retirees. “To have 8,000 people eventually have to go on to some kind of social welfare because they’ve expended the entire amount that they are about to receive in the DC plan and can’t go on until they are 70 or 80 or 90… that’s just not right,” said Cruz.

 In light of the suggestions and concerns the Vice-Speaker says he will amend the hybrid retirement bill further and he hopes to have a hearing before the second week of April.