Category Archives: Press Releases

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Welcome Aboard New Hires

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.

 


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Fsmssa board of trustees chairman and deputy administrator attends workshop

Category : Press Releases

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.

 


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Administrator presents at northwest Leadership conference 2019

Category : Press Releases

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.

 


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FSMSSA Employees attends APIPA 2019

Category : Press Releases

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.

 


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FSMSSA Employee Promotions

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.


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FSMSSA Board of Trustees meets for 2nd regular meeting

Category : Board News , Press Releases

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.

 


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FSMSSA attends Public Hearing with Health & Social Affairs Committee

FSM Congress committee on Health & Social Affairs called for a public hearing on May 17, 2019. FSMSSA responded with the presence of Mr. Jack Harris, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Board Member Mr. Nakama Sana, Administrator Alexander R. Narruhn, and Deputy Administrator Francky Ilai. FSMSSA comptroller Ms. Tessie Dayao was in attendance. Committee members present included Chairman Ferny S. Perman and member Paliknoa K. Welly along with two Congress Legal Counsels.  The committee needed program updates especially on Financials of the FSMSSA. Administrator Narruhn presented figures that opens minds giving information that could be addressed to the whole Congress about the financial status of the FSM Social Security Program. With the exchange of questions and answers, both parties were satisfied on the given information, whereas, FSMSSA looks forward to the continuation of the subsidies given by Congress to support functions of the program, especially with any type of benefit.

 


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FSMSSA Administrator Narruhn reaches 20 years servicing the program

Category : Press Releases

Alexander R. Narruhn began serving the FSM Social Security Program in the year 1999, whereas, done more than it takes to keep the program going. Twenty years serving a same post could never be easy, yet Mr. Narruhn managed to administrate the program’s functions over such period of time. In every aspect of the program, Narruhn pushed for a better working environment serving the people of the FSM as should be. The whole FSMSSA Team Congratulates a dedicated and good hearted boss, looking forward to doing more under his supervisions in the other years to come. In light of that, Thank you Very Much Administrator Narruhn for all great deeds done for the people of the FSM.

 


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