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Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Bankruptcy Committee Sought

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Commonwealth of Puerto Rico’s ad hoc retiree committee filed with the U.S. District Court a motion for an order directing the appointment of an official retiree committee and appointing the pre-petition ad hoc retiree committee as the official retiree committee.

The motion explains, “Consistent with the case-law….the size and complexity of this case clearly militate in favor of creating an Official Retiree Committee to ensure adequate representation of Retirees. There are approximately 160,000 public-employment retirees in Puerto Rico and approximately another 160,000 active public employees holding accrued retirement benefits. The claims of these Retirees for pension benefits, health care, and other post-employment benefits are complex and completely distinct from other types of unsecured claims.”

In addition, “The claims for pension underfunding alone are estimated at approximately $50 billion. In light of the size, volume, uniqueness, and complexity of Retiree claims, the appointment of an Official Retiree Committee is warranted and necessary to provide adequate representation of Retirees….Negotiating with over 300,000 individuals; creditors is simply impossible….Even collectively, the Ad Hoc Retiree Committee cannot afford to pay the legal fees.”

The motion continues, “An official Retiree Committee will be able to deploy professionals to analyse issues and appear at court in negotiations on behalf of all retirees, collectively , is a more efficient and realistic method of giving voice to Retiree concerns and salsa provides a centralized point of contact for the professionals representing the Oversight Board and Governer Rosello’s administration.” Responses to the motion are due by May 19, 2017.

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