Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

FSMSSA Hosts 3rd FAS Social Security Administrators' Conference

Kolonia, POHNPEI (FSM Social Security Administration): August 1, 2006 - The Third Freely Associated States Social Security Administrators' Conference was recently held in Pohnpei from July 19 - 24, 2006.

On July 18, 2006, the delegation from the Marshall Islands Social Security Administration, headed by Administrator Saane Aho, arrived on Pohnpei for the 3rd Freely Associated States Social Security Administrators' Conference that took place from the 19th to the 22nd of July. The delegation from Palau, led by Administrator Greg Ngirmang, arrived on the 19th.

The point of the meetings is to allow the administrators to cooperatively seek ways to improve the services each administration offers to its citizens. The theme for the conference is "The Art of Collaboration with our Neighboring Social Security Systems."

Speaking on the significance of the meetings, the FSMSS Administrator, Alexander R. Narruhn stated, "Through our collaboration, we can be successful in whatever we set out to accomplish."

Presentations were made by staff from each administration on tax collections, accounting, information technology and claims. This allowed the participating staff to pinpoint weaknesses within their respective administrations and also gave them the opportunity to share on their strengths. Software specialist, Jill Derrickson, of White Computer Services made a presentation on the new database software that was recently installed for the three participating social security administrations. It was an opportunity for the staff to notify Jill of problems with the new software and to brainstorm changes and enhancements.

In other areas, the administrators discussed Prior Service and went over the plans for the Totalization Agreement which is still pending ratification in Marshalls.

This agreement would allow an individual to apply for retirement benefits on the basis of their employment in more than one country. The implementation of the Totalization Agreement has been set to September 1, 2006.

If the agreement isn't ratified in the Marshalls by this date, Palau and the FSM will go ahead and put into operation the agreement between them. Furthermore, the conference sets the initiative for a Totalization Agreement with the USA.

Each respective agency will be working with its Foreign Affairs to set in motion this Totalization Agreement. The plan is to have each country's Foreign Affairs include this proposal in their Compact II Reviews.

The conference was attended by 22 staff members from the three administrations.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356