Chapter 15 - Deferred Compensation Plan
Chapter 15 - Deferred Compensation Plan
As used in this chapter, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
(1) ‘Treasurer” means the Treasurer of American Samoa:
(2) “Government” means the American Samoa Government:
(3) “Employee” mean persons who are employed by the government in all occupational classifications;
(4) “Director” means the Director of Manpower Resources.
The Government, through a Board of Trustees, may establish a compensation plan in accordance with section 457 of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended, for the benefit of employees to defer a portion of their compensation to a future period of time. Participation in the plan shall be totally voluntary and by written agreement between the employee and the government. An employee may authorize deductions to be made from the employee’s wages for the purpose of participation in the plan.
(a) The authority to establish the plan and make this chapter effective is vested in the Board of Trustees for the government deferred compensation plan. The Board shall be placed within the Office of Manpower Resources for administrative purposes.
(b) The Board shall adopt such rules as necessary to carry out the intent of this chapter. Such rules shall be published and made available to the public. The Board may engage services as necessary to establish, administer, or maintain the plan under its direction. An administrator may be engaged to administer the plan only after a solicitation of proposals from interested persons in accordance with specifications deemed appropriate by the Board.
The Board of Trustees shall consist of 7 members as follows:
(1) the Director, who shall serve as its chairperson, ex officio;
(2) the Treasurer, ex officio;
(3) five other persons, 3 of whom shall be government employees and who are participants of the plan, representing employees’ interests.
(a) Except for the Director and Treasurer, the members of the Board shall be appointed by the Governor and shall serve terms of 4 years each; provided, that of the trustees first appointed upon establishment of the Board, one shall be appointed for one year, one shall be appointed for 2 years, one shall be appointed for 3 years, and 2 shall be appointed for 4 years.
(b) A vacancy on the Board shall be filled by appointment of the Governor. The person appointed to fill a vacancy shall serve for the remainder of the unexpired term. If by the end of a term a trustee is not reappointed or a successor is not appointed, the trustee shall serve until his successor is appointed.
Each trustee shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed from the Fund for any necessary expense incurred in the performance of duties.
Assets of the plan, including funds deferred, investments, property and rights purchased with such funds, and any interest or income attributable to such funds, are restricted assets of the government employees who are participants of the plan. Such assets may not be used for any purpose other than investment under the plan except as made available to participants in this plan or their beneficiaries.
The Board may create a trust or other special funds for the segregation of funds or assets resulting from compensation deferred and for the administration of the plan. Funds held by the Board pursuant to a plan established under this chapter shall be invested in investment products permitted under the plan; provided, that any investment contract entered into shall be made with companies authorized and licensed to do business in American Samoa. Investment products shall be limited to annuities, life insurance, savings accounts, mutual funds, or any combination thereof which shall have been reviewed and selected by the Board after a competitive bidding process based on the specifications and considerations deemed appropriate by the Board. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to permit any type of in-vestment prohibited by law, but shall not be included in the computation of income taxes withheld on behalf of any participating employees.
The Treasurer shall be the custodian of the Funds created under the plan. All payments from the Fund shall be made by the Treasurer only upon vouchers signed by the Chairperson of the Board and countersigned by other members of the Board designated by the Board.
The Government shall not be liable for the sums deferred or the results of any investment.
Compensation deferred pursuant to a plan established under this chapter shall be deemed regular compensation for the purpose of computing contributions to or benefits under existing retirement, pension, or social security systems applicable to participating employees, but shall not be included in the computation of income taxes withheld on behalf of any participating employees.
Costs for implementing and administering the plan shall be borne by the plan and its participants, except for incidental expenses such as the cost of payroll deductions, and the routine processing of forms which shall be borne by the American Samoa Government.