• The San Juan Daily Star

Retirement board members: UPR administration is failing retirees

By John McPhaul

University of Puerto Rico (UPR) Retirement Board President Luis Vicenty Santini, along with other members of the body that leads the Retirement System of active and retired workers from the UPR, charged on Tuesday that the university’s central administration and governing board have not been diligent in providing the information necessary to provide the 19,000 members of the system with essential services correctly and on time.

“Likewise, the Retirement System has seen how the recruitment process of some 21 jobs necessary to normalize the services offered to participants, have been harmed and delayed by the lack of personnel and the ravages of the pandemic,” Viceny Santini said in a written statement. “Without complete and error-free information, the System cannot process pension applications, personal loans and mortgage loans on time. Nor is it possible to certify the balance of these loans on time.”

Other important services are also affected,” he added. “For several years, the employees of the System have had to ‘bite the bullet’ to fulfill their responsibilities toward our participants. This situation of lack of complete and correct information has lasted for more than two years.”

The UPR retirees union president also pointed out that “another aspect of vital importance for the System is the creation of 21 new positions, which will allow services to be provided with greater efficiency.”

“Although the Retirement Board requested these positions more than four months ago, no response has been received from the Central Administration and the Governing Board,” Viceny Santini said. “The inaction of these senior university management bodies is hampering the plans of the Retirement Board, which, since it assumed the trust of the System, has proposed to improve and streamline services to active and retired employees of the UPR.”

José González Taboada, a professor in the Accounting Department and member of the Retirement Board representing the teaching members of the Río Piedras Campus, expressed deep concern over what he said appears to be the intention of the governing board to reduce the employer’s contribution to the system.

“Without an adequate employer contribution, the System runs the risk of collapsing” he said. “It is regrettable that the Governing Board refuses to acknowledge that it must comply with the annual contribution of $160 million to the Retirement System that corresponds to it this year and shows a total lack of interest in having a clear policy to attend the amortization of its actuarial debt with the Retirement System.”

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