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Retirees ask court to appoint panel for Prepa pensioneers

By on May 14, 2018

The Official Committee of Retired Employees of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico filed a motion Monday asking the U.S. District Court to appoint a committee that would represent retirees of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority.

The Retiree Committee’s members were appointed by the United States Trustee on June 15, 2017. Since that time, the Retiree Committee has represented some 167,000 retired commonwealth workers.

After the Retiree Committee’s appointment, on July 3, 2017, Prepa filed for Title III bankruptcy. Prepa retirees receive pensions and other post-employment retirement benefits through the Prepa Retirement System.

According to Prepa’s certified April 19, 2018 Fiscal Plan, the PRS is “significantly underfunded” by no less than $3.6 billion. As stated in Prepa Fiscal Plan, those benefits of Prepa retirees will be switched to a defined contribution plan and accrued pension benefits will be cut by 10%.

“In light of these various and significant threats to PREPA Retirees, it is the Retiree Committee’s position that the PREPA Retirees should be represented by an official committee,” the motion says.

The United States Trustee has not appointed a retiree committee to represent, or amended the notice of appointment of the Retiree Committee to include representation of, the Prepa Retirees. The United States Trustee did, however, file an amended notice of appointment in Prepa’s case expanding the scope of representation and constituency of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors to include PREPA creditors.

“Counsel for the Retiree Committee has conferred with the United States Trustee’s office regarding the PREPA Retirees’ need for representation,” the motion states.

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