Héctor Mayol, who headed the Commonwealth Retirement Systems in Puerto Rico since 2009, is stepping down from the post effective Aug. 31, the public servant announced Thursday.
“I assumed the responsibility of leading the Retirement System aware of the immense responsibility of working a series of corrective measures to alleviate a financial crisis directly and indirectly affecting all Puerto Ricans,” Mayol said.
“This while working simultaneously to reengineer the administrative processes to improve the quality of services and benefits to both agencies,” he said, referring to the Government Employees Retirement System and the Teachers Retirement Systems, which he was in charge of overseeing.
During his tenure, Mayol was responsible for working with members of Gov. Alejandro García-Padilla’s economic team on a profound reform of the public employees retirement systems, implementing changes that drew staunch criticism from workers who saw their benefits changed. The reform was implemented through a series of laws enacted earlier this year to extend the Retirement System’s life beyond 2014, when it was set to run out of money.
“Leaving the Systems strengthened and on track through the biggest reform since its inception, pensioners and future retirees can be assured that their pensions are secure and guaranteed. I appreciate the difficult and hard work of my team, as well as trust and support from governors [Luis] Fortuño and García-Padilla,” said Mayol, who was named to his post during the prior administration and stayed on through the reform process that concluded in April.
In a separate statement, García-Padilla thanked Mayol “personally and on behalf of our people” for his years of service.
“Specifically, I want to highlight his collaboration on the task of reforming the systems that cover our public servants, which concluded recently,” the governor said.
Teacher’s union welcome resignation
Aida Díaz, president of the Puerto Rico Teacher’s Union, welcomed Mayol’s announced resignation, saying it was “expected.”
“This was something that was expected by the way he managed. There were many months of struggling for the exit of a person who does not respect teaching and who has kept us waiting anxiously about his plans to merge the retirement systems, putting at risk the pensions of hundreds of teachers who have worked for a dignified retirement,” said Díaz.
The labor union, known as the AMPR in Spanish, insisted on several occasions for Mayol’s ouster. In January, the AMPR sent letters to the Teachers Retirement System Board of Trustees outlining possible wrongdoing by Mayol, without revealing details.