POSITION VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT
Location: FSM Social Security Administration, Kolonia, Pohnpei FM
Opening Date:January 9, 2020
Closing Date:January 24, 2020
Position: Tax Administration Assistant
Salary Range: $5,000.00 to $13,000.00 per annum
(Depending upon qualification)
The Federated States of Micronesia Social Security Administration is seeking for a qualified candidate to fill the position of a Tax Administration Assistant. This position reports directly to the Tax Administration Officer. Responsibilities for this position include assisting the Tax Administration Officer’s duties of enforcing Social Security tax law requirements. This position is very team-oriented and highly interactive with all the branch offices.
Nature of Work:
1. Determine that Branches provide complete and correct documentation for collecting all proper social security tax revenue;
2. Determine that all audit computations are complete and accurate and that the delinquent employers are updated in the FSMSSA database system;
3. Assist Tax Administration Officer and branches in all facets of audit work, including legal aspects;
4. Determine that all tax returns and tax data are maintained in a complete, accurate and orderly manner;
5. Assist Tax Administration Officer in coordinating delinquent employer payment agreements and schedules and make recommendations on dealing with delinquent employers;
6. Maintain adequate filing and retrieval systems on all tax collection matters;
7. Perform other duties as assigned.
Requirements of Work
Must have great work ethics, strong mathematical skills, excellent written and verbal communication skills, strong analytical skills, interpersonal skills and be computer literate. Must have knowledge of basic audit and accounting principles.
Education & Work Experience Requirements
Position requires a degree in Business Administration or related field or equivalent. Experience in payroll processing or preparation of employer’s Social Security tax returns is a plus.
Any interested candidates should obtain application form at any Social Security Branch Office or Headquarters. Submit the application or show postmark if mailed, no later than January 24, 2020 along with diplomas and/or transcripts to any of the Social Security Branch Offices or to:
Federated States of Micronesia Social Security Administration
P.O. Box L
Kolonia, Pohnpei FM 96941
FSMSSA welcomes new hire Ms. Loreta L. Memai from the state of Yap as the new Yap Branch Office Assistant. 35 year old Loreta studied General studies and holds a Diploma of Completion. She have had work experiences, five years at YPDR Resort and four years at Manta Ray Bay Resort, both in Yap State.
This position reports directly to the State Branch Manager. Responsibilities for this position include assisting the Branch Manager and other Branch staff in ensuring that the Branch operates effectively, efficiently and competently and provides quality services/good customer relations with all dealing with the Branch, either in person or by electronic communication. Loreta in every way is capable to serve the program with such purposes. She looks forward to learning and gaining as much possible and in return assist the needs of the people involved with the program. Her flexibility in language understanding ranges for she understands outer islanders, Pohnpeian, Marshallese and Chuukese language. Welcome Aboard Loreta.
Mr. Wensworth Billen was hired at the HQ office in August 2019 as theAccount Analyst. The Account Analyst reports directly to the comptroller , assisting in maintaining the program’s accounting policies and practices, in particular ledger entries, cash receipts and the fixed asset register.
Wensworth is a COM-FSM graduate with an A.S. Degree in Business Administration and he is capable of doing the tasks that comes along with the job. In his experience, he was once a Peer Counseling Advisor while in College, helping students with tutoring sessions when needed in any subject areas. Later in 2012, he as hired at LP Gas as a graphics designer for there months and another 4 years as Accountant at Federated Shipping Company Ltd. Wensworth, upon being hired was elated and looks forward to learn as much and to contribute his abilities by doing the duties accordingly. He feels honored and lucky to be the one hired among all applicants. Welcome Aboard Wensworth.
FSMSSA was invited by the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Center (PFTAC) to participate in a workshop in Majuro, September 18-20, 2019. The workshop was a joint event organized and delivered by three PFTAC programs including Real Sector Statistics, Revenue Administration and Macroeconomic Programming. The purpose of the event is to bring together senior tax administration officials with senior officials from the National Statistics Offices of all PFTAC member countries to discuss the of ‘Use of Administrative Data in National Accounts’ particularly the importance of effective mechanisms for the secure sharing of tax and social security data with National Statistics Offices (NSO).
Chairman Harris and Deputy Ilai joined discussions over the course of the workshop from beginning to closing. It was for the program’s benefit that attending such workshops are highly recommended to the leadership of the program. The program always builds up its strength in such trainings and workshops. The presentations given were fully effective to building and refreshing knowledge of participants. FSMSS program looks forward to attaining its stability from all these resourceful information and on those who gained them to support the program with.
In the early weeks of September, FSM Social Security Administrator Alexander R. Narruhn attended the Northwest Leadership Conference 2019 on Makur Island, outer islands of Chuuk State. Administrator Narruhn shared a presentation to the large group, an overall presentation based on functions of the program. Detailed information about social security benefits were discussed, including eligibilities to retirement and other types of benefits. The different types of benefits were introduced with its requirements. Administrator’s presentation touched on the program’s Financial Statements audited and unaudited from 2016 to 2019 as well as its Investment Fund Performance. Tax collections especially delinquency was introduced as it remains a major problem to the program’s tax collections. Along with the challenge of delinquency, FSMSSA also face more of which, benefit payments exceeding tax collections, downsizing of government and closing of several major businesses, increase number of beneficiaries and low funded ratio, high unfunded accrued liability. These challenges are on hand and as much as the Administration tries to battle with, still comes on the way due to the giving and receiving processes of the program. Therefore, the program gives more than it collects. Otherwise, the Administration never gives up fighting these challenges finding ways to support the program and keep on right track to its purposes. Lastly, there are pending amendments in process to support the program in every way possible for its longevity.
The Association of Pacific Islands Public Auditors (APIPA) was formed in January 1988 through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that was executed by the heads of the audit organizations of five Pacific Island nations. It was formed to achieve its objectives, mainly to establish an organized body to act as one voice in support of the goal of promoting efficiency and accountability in the use of public resources of emerging nations of the Pacific. It is a way to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, experience, problems, and the identification of solutions which are often unique to the Public Auditors in the Pacific and sponsor auditing and accounting training workshops, in cooperation with established associations of the staff of member offices. Inclusive purposes includes identifying scholarship sources for Pacific Islander in need of financial assistance to study auditing and accounting at the post secondary level and promote public awareness for the purpose of conducting audits of public resources. Each year the APIPA Conference serves as the region’s premier professional development event for finance and audit professionals from throughout the U.S.-affiliated Pacific islands.
Whereas, eight (8) employees from FSMSSA inclusive of the branches attended the training, seeking more skills and knowledge to further their abilities in the area of their job goals they serve in this entity. These trainings at APIPA is always a way to refresh and help them carry on doing the best they could in their expertise. It was indeed a great experience to the first goers, and continuing assistance to those been attending. They were all grateful to be attending sessions that greatly impact their knowledge which motivates them to serving the clients of FSMSSA the best way they can offer.
In February 2014, Robert Carlos (RC) began working at the FSMSSA as the Tax Assistant Officer. He had assisted the Tax Division in carrying out the duties of the division for years. Within the years he applied for another position in the Claims Division and was hired the Claim Analyst. As per duties differ in these Divisions, RC had different work experiences within the program divisions , which led him best qualified to be the new Claim Officer. Along with the qualities he possess and his work performance over the years, he had been promoted to be Claim Officer in May 2019. The Claim Officer reports directly to the FSMSSA Deputy Administrator. Responsibilities are to ensure that all claims made on FSM Social Security are processed in an entirely equitable, competent and on timely manner and that all beneficiaries of FSMSSA are treated strictly in accordance with the FSM laws and FSMSSA policies, processes, procedures and practices. The program looks forward to achieving its goals in terms referred to dealing with Claims within the Social Security System entrusting the work of this young man productively.
Briona Halverson had been with the program for over 10 years now. She began her experience with the FSMSSA Accounting Division as the Account Analyst. She had excelled with her duties in that division serving the program in so many years. With winds of change, she wanted to explore more and serve another division. Therefore, beginning May she started a new experience in the Claims Division as the Claim Analyst. The claim analyst is to assist the Claim Officer in ensuring that all aspects of FSM Social Security law and FSM Social Security Administration policies and practices, which relate to claims and associated matters, are rigorously conformed to at all times. With the skills and knowledge she possess, she is able to take on the new experience serving the claims division for all FSMSSA beneficiaries. She feels happy to be continuing serving the system under new job goals and her interest will surely assist her in support of task completions. FSMSSA looks forward to receiving good results as all employees always strive for to be better serving the FSM citizens.
The FSMSSA Board of Trustees held 2nd Regular Meeting in Chuuk on May 22-23, 2019. Every of these board meetings are held quarterly in and around the four states, as there may be a need to follow on pending appeal cases. With such matter, every quarter a Board meeting is called and inclusive of a special meeting when necessary. In attendance to this meeting were Chairman Harris, Vice-Chairman Tafileluw, members Sana, Nena, Falcam, Administrator Narruhn as Ex-Officio member, Deputy Administrator Ilai and FSMSSA Internal Auditor Win Thomas.
The Board were updated on FSMSSA division reports, mainly Financial and Tax Reports. The financial report specifies its net assets standing at $53.2 million as of March 31, 2019. Of this amount $48.6 million is accounted for the investment market value. The remaining $4.6 million represents cash, accounts receivables, travel advances, fixed assets and other assets. Liabilities of $148,031 include accounts payable to vendors, payroll liabilities for unremitted taxes, and payable to beneficiaries. Revenue grew by 5.7% to $5.0 million compared to $4.70 million in the same period last year. The increase is attributed mainly to the timing of Government bi-weekly payment in particular the Pohnpei State and Yap State which paid most of their 4th quarter 2018 taxes due January 2019. Benefits grew by 1.7% to $5.5 million compared to %5.4 million in the same period last year. The increase benefit is attributable to new claims and from retirees’ eligibility back to 100% of benefits. Administrative expenses amounted to $264,556 which represents 20% of the approved budget of $1.31 million. In March 2019, $1.0 million has been withdrawn from the investment portfolio to supplement benefit payments. Cash flow shows the actual sources and uses of cash. Collections were not enough to pay benefits and administrative expense, hence a cash deficit of $764,494. The cash deficit was funded by withdrawal of $1.0 million from investment trust fund.
Tax collection remains a challenge the program tackled with every day following its regulations on tax collection. As of 1st quarter 2019, FSMSSA’s total tax receivables was $5.2 million, which is 4% lower than the same period of last year. The major cause of this decrease has to do with lump sum payment of $254,228.83 to some companies in CY2018. The program’s tax collections struggles with out of the overall delinquent employers, $3.3 million are either closed or inactive employers. About 64% of the total delinquent tax goes to these doubtful accounts and $1.9 million goes to businesses that are still operating and are currently able to pay off or make allotments to their delinquent balance. Still partial collections had been made up to 6% as of 1st quarter 2019 and FSMSSA Tax Division continues to push for more effort in collecting from refereed accounts.
FSMSSA Board of Trustees also had taken care of old or unfinished businesses along with new businesses and had received knowledge of recent communications and incidental report from Administrator Narruhn, inclusive of Social Security Amendments, results of public hearings and pending matters needed of Boards’ attention.
Finally, pending appeal cases were deferred to its special meeting in Kosrae, June 2019.