BAGUIO CITY – The Social Security System (SSS) is settings its sights in providing its over 2.5 million pensioners a minimum pension of P5,000 each when President Rodrigo R. Duterte will step down from power by the middle of 2022 to improve the financial standing of the retirees.
Dean Amado Valdez, SSS chairman, said the Social Security Commission is also aspiring to give the P1,000 remaining balance from the P2,000 pension increase to the pensioners by 2019 instead of the earlier programmed 2020 schedule.
However, he pointed out the planned fixing of the minimum pension at P5,000 per month and the grant of the additional P1,000 to the pensioners will be dependent on the approval of the SSS Charter by Congress considering that the same was already approved in the House and now pending deliberations in the Senate.
Valdez asserted that the key to improving the financial standing of SSS and prolonging its actuarial life up to 2049 will be the robust economy of the country, the influx of investors that will generate jobs who will in turn be enrolled as SSS members, the increase in the SSS contributions of members and the improvement of the dividends of its investments coupled with its being involved in the lucrative public-private partnership for various income-generating projects.
With the granting of the P2,000 additional pension for its pensioners, P1,000 which was given in January 2017 and the other P1,000 to be given by 2019, Valdez admitted the actuarial life of the SSS pension fund was reduced to 2032 instead of the earlier programmed 2042, thus, the need for the State corporation to work out the amendment of its Charter so that the Commission will be empowered to immediately act on key policies that will help extend the actuarial life of the fund beyond 2049.
Supposedly, lawyer Emmanuel F. Dooc, SSS president and chief executive officer, said SSS member contributions was supposed to increase by 1.5 percent starting June this year but the office of the President has not yet issued the required executive order empowering SSS to increase its member contributions that will be equally divided by the employer and the employees.
According to him, SSS plans to increase the contribution of members to 17 percent of the monthly compensation of the members by 2022 wherein there will be a 1.5 percent increase of contributions within a 4-year period.
Dooc explained the 17 percent contribution of members by 2022 is still much lower than the 21 percent contribution of members being collected by the government Service Insurance Corporation (GSIS), thus, the need for SSS to catch up aside from increasing the salary brackets from the maximum of P16,000 per month up to P30,000 or above.
At present, he claimed SSS is aggressive in going after delinquent employers around the country so that they will be compelled to enrol their workers and pay their corresponding contributions that resulted to an increase of P1.3 billion monthly in their collections starting January this year.