Message from the Administrator
Best Wishes to all of our members and their families for the New Year 2013!
The year 2012 was extremely challenging for the System. We endured massive layoffs and early retirements due to the enactment of Bill No. 29-0123 (Act No.7261 - The Virgin Islands Economic Stability Act). This legislation not only placed a severe burden on the productivity of the staff because of the simultaneous implementation of new technologies, but also on the cash flow of the Fund, because of the reduction in the collection of contributions and the increase in annuity payments.
Recommendations were made to the Board and were approved in the Board’s Retreat in June. These sweeping legislative initiatives (Bill No. 29-0099) were submitted to the 29th Legislature on August 31, 2012, which included major reforms to the plan’s benefits structure and contribution rates (view under Legislation link) and are critical to the very survival of the System. Based on the recent actuarial valuation projections, if there are no changes made to the Plan, the System will run out of assets by the year 2022. That means that in the next 9 years, the System will become insolvent and it will not have the ability to pay annuities to retirees and beneficiaries unless the central government finds other revenue streams to continue payments.
In addition to having the legislative initiatives become law, our major goals for the year 2013 are:
- To develop a comprehensive long range Strategic Plan for the System with the assistance of the University of the Virgin Islands;
- To complete all backlogged prior service requests;
- To promote direct deposit participation for international retirees and continue to encourage retirees who receive a check to convert to direct deposit by March 13, 2013;
- To continue to provide system-wide customer service training in order to decrease the number of complaints reported by the members;
- To increase in-house oversight of the investment portfolio and the investment manager’s performance;
- To begin the Financial Planning Workshops which will provide the necessary education to assist our members with planning for retirement and managing their retirement funds;
- To implement the in-house processing of the annuity payroll, and
- To provide members with an annual statement.
We welcome our new Labor Union Trustee Carol Callwood to the GERS and wish former Trustee Carver Farrow well and thank him for his many years of dedicated service to the System.
Thank you for visiting our site!
Austin L. Nibbs, CPA, CGMA