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Proposed measure to amend ASGRF requirements to allow local investments introduced

A bill to amend requirements to allow the American Samoa Government Retirement Fund to invest money locally without unnecessary restrictions was introduced in the Senate today.

The proposed measure noted the American Samoa Retirement Fund has an unfunded liability of approximately 48.2%.

Fund members contribute only 4%, and ASG contributes only 10%, a total of 14%; current monthly contributions are about $1.6 million, whereas benefit payments are roughly $2 million.

This totals roughly a $400,000 shortfall between contributions and benefits from the Fund’s investment earnings.

The measure proposes that Governor Lemanu sign a Public Law on April 29, 2022, to raise donations for both the ASG employee and for ASG.

Currently, the employee contributes 4%. By 2024, this amount will go up to 5%; by 2025, it will go up again to 6%.

For ASG, their current contribution amount is 10%. By 2024, this amount will go up to 12%; by 2025, it will go up again to 14%.

By 2025, the ASG employee will be contributing 6%, and ASG will be donating $14%, which equals a 20% influx of contributions.

The bill states that while this is a fantastic feat to help reduce our unfunded liability, it does not remove the unfunded liability altogether.

Also, it is time for American Samoa to start taking control of growing our economy and supporting our people as we move towards self-sustainability and independence.

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