$180,000 in unpaid pension benefits to former DLM employee | Guam News


The Department of Lands has a large liability amounting to $180,000 in retirement benefits for a former employee. Benefits were not paid while the employee was on deployment.

“In fact, when we arrived there were two employees who had outstanding pension obligations that were not being paid by the Department of Land Management,” DLM Director Joseph Borja told lawmakers. during a budget hearing on Monday.

“It’s basically because when they were deployed to their military duties, the land management, for some reason, wasn’t paying the pension contribution part,” he said.

The other employee had a pension contribution shortfall of about $25,000, which was resolved by the agency, but the $180,000 obligation is “a bit difficult” to fit into a budget, Borja said. . Those bonds date from 2008, and pension contributions are up to date with current employees, he told the hearing.

Sen. Joe San Agustin, chairman of the legislative appropriations committee, said the $180,000 should be added to the DLM’s $3.4 million budget request.

“If there are any other issues related to funding, please do not hesitate to communicate it to your supervisor (president) and to myself. And we will find a way to take care of you, because I really hope that the (fiscal year) potential retirees in 2021 are not all leaving at the same time. And that you are able to meet the needs of the people of Guam in the area of ​​your department,” San Agustin told Borja.

Twenty-one of DLM’s 32 employees are eligible for retirement, 11 by seniority and 10 by age. These are employees who have been in the service for a while and hold institutional knowledge that benefits DLM, according to Borja. The department has indications that two employees will be retiring within the next 12 months.

“That’s our biggest challenge in our staff,” Borja said.

While the DLM’s FY2023 budget request essentially reflects its current allocation, the department has seen significant personnel changes in recent years. This includes retirements, departures and transfers, and even deceased employees.

Borja said that rather than deal with hiring new employees after retirements, they would prefer that hiring and retirements overlap in order to ensure continuity at DLM. Funding for that overlap could come from a planned increase in revenue from the surveying revolving fund, he said.

“We’re tracking right now, I believe, about $350,000 more than last year… By the end of the fiscal year, I’m hoping to be $500,000 to $600,000 (more) on that,” Borja said.

He credited this to land sales, mortgages and the like, from the activities of securities companies and banks.

DLM also received $1.4 million in US bailout funds, which it uses largely for term employees and investigative equipment.

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