Palace set on 1.5% hike in SSS dues, but solons ap­proach it with cau­tion

Manila Bulletin - - National News - By GENALYN D. KABILING and BEN R. ROSARIO

Pres­i­dent Duterte is un­likely to de­fer the planned in­crease in the So­cial Se­cu­rity Sys­tem (SSS) pre­mium con­tri­bu­tion of mem­bers as pro­posed by some sen­a­tors.

The Pres­i­dent re­mains firm in his de­ci­sion to raise both pen­sion and pre­mi­ums af­ter a care­ful study on the mat­ter, ac­cord­ing to Pres­i­den­tial Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Sec­re­tary Martin An­da­nar.

“The Pres­i­dent has care­fully weighed both sides to solve the SSS im­passe and he has al­ready made a de­ci­sion,” An­da­nar said.

He said the in­crease in the SSS pen­sion ef­fec­tive this quar­ter would be fi­nanced by cur­rent con­tri­bu­tions and in­vest­ment in­come.

The planned 1.5-per­cent in­crease in con­tri­bu­tions in May 2017, on the other hand, will be used to im­prove the In­vest­ment Re­serve Fund of SSS, An­da­nar said. He noted that this would gen­er­ate higher yields for in­vest­ments and fur­ther strengthen the over­all vi­a­bil­ity of the pen­sion fund to meet fu­ture obli­ga­tions.

Sen­a­tor Joel Villanueva ear­lier called on the SSS board to post­pone the in­crease in pre­mi­ums and in­stead im­prove their col­lec­tion ef­forts.

Sen­a­tor Franklin Drilon, for his part, said while he com­mended the Pres­i­dent’s de­ci­sion to grant the SSS pen­sion hike, it should not be used to jus­tify an in­crease in pre­mium pay­ment.

But con­gress­men dis­puted Drilon’s opin­ion that the 1.5per­cent hike in mem­ber­ship con­tri­bu­tion to the SSS re­quires amend­ment to the SSS law.

Still, Reps. Eu­gene Michael De Vera (ABS Partylist); Mark Sam­bar (PBA Partylist) and Sal­vador Be­laro (1-Ang Edukasyon Partylist) said the im­po­si­tion of the hike can be deemed un­law­ful if the col­lec­tion will be used to fi­nance the in­crease of 12,000 to the monthly pen­sion of pri­vate sec­tor re­tirees.

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