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U.S. Department of the Interior - Office of Insular Affairs
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Office Of Insular Affairs Releases Grant Award For Prior Service Trust Fund Administration



November 13, 2009
For more information please contact:
Tanya Harris Joshua (202) 208-6008

Washington, D.C. – The Department of the Interiors' Insular Assistant Secretary, Tony Babauta, made available $1,000,000 to support the Prior Service Trust Fund Administration (PSTFA).

The PSTFA administers benefit payments to individuals in the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the Marshall Islands (RMI) and the Republic of Palau who worked for the U.S. Department of the Navy and the U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI). The program is designed to provide social security-type benefits to former employees of the TTPI government (or the predecessor-U.S. Navy administration) who were employed for at least five full years prior to 1968, when a TTPI Social Security System was created.  The program also provides benefits to survivors of the former employees.

"The benefits we are able to provide are clearly only a small measure of the gratitude we have for the men and women of Micronesia and the Marianas who helped support the U.S. military as it made its way across the Pacific Islands during World War II," said Babauta.

In the last days of the war, Micronesians started working for the U.S. Military providing essential services to active duty soldiers, sailors and airmen, including care for the wounded and support for the men fighting in places like Iwo Jima and Okinawa.  These people were paid very low meager salaries, often as low as 9 cents an hour, with no employee benefits.

In June 2009, a census of beneficiaries was conducted, revealing 359 beneficiaries in the CNMI, 753 in the FSM, 236 in the RMI, and 319 in the Republic of Palau.