The Ad Hoc Retiree Committee has asked the judge overseeing the restructuring process to order the appointment of a retiree committee for the case, and to let the 18 current members of the Ad Hoc Retiree Committee, including a representative from AARP, serve on the committee.
The Ad Hoc committee reports that about 160,000 of Puerto Rico’s 3.5 million residents are active public employees who have accrued benefits in the commonwealth’s public pension plans. Another 160,000 residents are retired enrollees in the public pension plans. About 9.2% of all commonwealth residents are active or retired enrollees in the public pension plans.
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“The claims for pension underfunding alone are estimated at approximately $50 billion,” the Ad Hoc committee says in a justification of the request for the appointment of a retiree committee.
The Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico, the entity that filed a restructuring petition for Puerto Rico last week, under Title III of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act, has estimated that Puerto Rico faces about $74 billion debt burden.
Public pension underfunding accounts for about two-thirds of Puerto Rico’s debt burden.
In mid-2015, only 1.57% of the public pension obligations were funded, according to the oversight board.
Judge Laura Taylor Swain is presiding over the restructuring process in the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico.