Current and retired officers in various agencies of law enforcement and public safety filled the room at GFT’s meeting held last night at UOG, concerned with the erroneous calculations of their retirement earnings. GFT member, Major Fred Chargualaf, and GFT’s Attorney, Joshua Walsh, explained that the interpretation of the government of Guam Retirement Fund for calculations in retirement earnings for those who received the lump sum increase as a result of PL29-105 are inaccurate. Chargualaf talked about that when requesting for the calculations of his retirement earnings, the salary amount in 2013 and 2014 was less than what was shown on his W2 tax forms causing a significantly lesser amount in retirement annuity earnings.

Attorney Walsh stated “This is simple. The idea is if you got this money in a particular year and your W2’s reflect that; and that’s the year they’re putting the money in retirement fund and you’re a DB (Defined Benefit “Old Plan”) person, then I don’t understand why it’s complicated to say that your 85% should be those three years other than the other. Retirement fund has a fiduciary obligation to the members of the trust, that’s everyone who is retired or putting money into that retirement fund.” Walsh explained that the response given by the Retirement Fund, which declined to adopt the interpretation of Chargualaf and GFT, lead to the filing of the next course of action, a Writ of Mandate in the Superior Court of Guam.

GFT President, Sanjay Sharma, encouraged all officers present to get with GFT so that all who are affected by the matter will be taken care with GFT’s legal actions. Sharma stated, “If you are affected, we want to represent your case as well. We want to make sure that the winnings we get, apply to you. We want to make sure that we stand together on this issue because it’s not just one person being affected, it’s all of us.”

For those who were unable to attend the meeting and feel they are affected by this, please contact Irish Olivares at irish@gftunion.com or at 898-3077.

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