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Iulogologo: it’s too early to comment on policy changes

American Samoa Government Executive Office Building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — It is premature to comment at this point on potential policies until data is collected first and information from various ASG agencies regarding employees who have worked 30 years or more in government is analyzed, says the governor’s executive assistant Iulogologo Joseph Pereira.

Iulogologo was responding to Samoa News inquiries regarding Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga’s June 11 memo, in which the governor says that in “our ongoing efforts to explore practical avenues to reduce the overall cost of the government’s operation, we are taking a closer look on the current American Samoa Employees Retirement Fund policy particularly fixing the calculation of retirement benefits to 30 years of service.”

The governor requested ASG directors to prepare a list of all active employees with 30 or more years of service for submission to his office on or before June 30 “to facilitate possible development of policies to address this issue, which is unnecessarily costing ASG money.”

“We are trying to collect the data first from which we will develop the appropriate policy which might incentivize retirement for those employees eligible for retirement and possible reduction of government cost,” said Iulogologo yesterday responding to Samoa News inquiries.

Samoa News also asked if policy changes are made, will this require amendments to provisions of the Retirement Fund law, requiring legislative approval, or would policy changes be made through a regulation under the American Samoa Administrative Code.

“If there is a new policy pertaining to the ASG Employees Retirement Fund, it will not violate any provision of the existing Retirement Fund laws,” was Iulogologo’s response.

He added, “It is premature to comment on potential policies until we compile and analyze the information from the ASG agencies.”