United States Department of Interior gives grant to Social Security Programs

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United States Department of Interior gives grant to Social Security Programs

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The Prior Service Trust Fund (PSTF) is a supplemental retirement, disability and survivors’ plan established pursuant to Section 105(m) of U.S Public Law 99-239. It was established to continue to provide benefits to those who worked for the U.S. Navy Administration or the Government of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands for at least five years prior to July 1, 1968. In 1987, the United States Congress provided $8 million for initial capitalization of the PSBTF. The United States Government continues to meet its commitment and financial support to beneficiaries. These Prior Service beneficiaries are retirees and survivors who rely on monthly payments ranging from $54.00 to over $150.00 to pay for medicine, food, kerosene and other basic needs.

Effective April 1, 2006, the Federated States of Micronesia Social Security Administration assumed responsibility for benefit payments made to citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia. Beneficiaries of PSTF total about one thousand and lived in the Northern Mariana Islands, Republic of Palau, Federated States of Micronesia and Marshall Islands. FSM has a total of 450 beneficiaries who are currently receiving Prior Service Benefits.

In May 2016, the United States Department of Interior, Office of Insular Affairs (OIA), awarded additional money to the Prior Service Trust Fund Administration (PSTF) to enact and fully fund an increased cost of living adjustment (COLA) for all existing PSTF beneficiaries. It was an addition to the annual funds being received from OIA to maintain existing payments to PSTF beneficiaries.

In March 2018, the Prior Service Trust Fund (PSTF) was awarded funding through the office of Insular Affairs’ (OIA) Technical Assistance Program. A grant was awarded to fund Prior Service benefit payments to beneficiaries in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau. The grant included a partial funding award of $460,900 for PSTF benefit payments, will be available for the first six months of the next fiscal year. Additional funding will be awarded after OIA has received full appropriations for Fiscal Year 2018.

In April 2019, the Prior Service Board of Directors and staff wished to announce that the U.S Interior Assistant Secretary of Insular and Internal Affairs, Douglas W. Domenech has authorized the payment of $853,590 in FY 2019 Technical Assistance Funding for the Prior Service Trust Fund.

The Prior Service Trust Fund Board and Social Security Administrations take this opportunity to express their appreciation to Assistant Secretary Domenech and staff for providing this valuable assistance to families across Micronesia and beyond.