SSS awaits PRRD’s nod for pen­sion hike

Manila Bulletin - - Front Page - (CSL)

State-run So­cial Se­cu­rity Sys­tem (SSS) said yes­ter­day that it is wait­ing for Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo R. Duterte’s or­der to re­lease the ad­di­tional ben­e­fit to pen­sion­ers.

In a state­ment, Em­manuel F. Dooc, SSS pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive, said the is­suance of an Ex­ec­u­tive Or­der (EO) is nec­es­sary to ful­fill the prom­ise of Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte to give ad­di­tional ben­e­fit to pen­sion­ers.

Dooc is­sued the state­ment amidst clamor from pen­sion­ers to re­lease another R1,000 ad­di­tional ben­e­fit next year.

the SSS chief stressed that the sec­ond tranche of the ad­di­tional ben­e­fit could only be granted ei­ther through the is­suance of an EO from Malacañang or the ap­proval of the pro­posed bill that will amend the SS Char­ter.

“We do not have the power to give an ad­di­tional R1,000 ben­e­fit by next year,” Dooc said in re­sponse to the call from pen­sion­ers to im­ple­ment the sec­ond tranche of ad­di­tional pen­sion by 2019.

He ex­plained that the SSC does not have the power to ad­just the con­tri­bu­tion rate or amount of monthly pen­sion, only the Pres­i­dent of the Re­pub­lic and Congress have the power to ap­prove a pen­sion in­crease.

“Just like what I have said ear­lier, our goal here in SSS is to see to it that we are able to re­lease the sec­ond tranche [of pen­sion] still within the term of Pres­i­dent Duterte, which can be ap­proved in 2022 dur­ing his last year in of­fice,” Docc added.

Pres­i­dent Duterte in Jan­u­ary 2017 an­nounced the ap­proval of the R2,000 ad­di­tional pen­sion and granted the first R1,000 on the same year while the re­main­ing R1,000 will be re­leased by 2022 cou­pled with a fi­nan­cial mech­a­nism that will sus­tain the vi­a­bil­ity of the pen­sion fund.

Dooc said the pen­sion fund shelled out some R33 bil­lion in 2017 for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the first R1,000 ad­di­tional pen­sion.

The amount needed for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the sec­ond tranche of the pen­sion in­crease will be slightly higher as the num­ber of pen­sion­ers in­crease ev­ery year by an average of 100,000.

He fur­ther ex­plained that the pen­sion fund per­formed well in its duty to in­crease con­tri­bu­tion col­lec­tion to suf­fice the grow­ing ben­e­fit dis­burse­ment of SSS.

He noted that the pen­sion fund con­tri­bu­tion col­lec­tion in 2017 in­creased by 10.6 per­cent from R144 bil­lion in 2016.

“We recorded R159 bil­lion in con­tri­bu­tion col­lec­tion in 2017. This shows that our ef­forts to col­lect from em­ploy­ers and in­di­vid­ual mem­bers have be­come ef­fec­tive. For 2018, we aim to im­prove col­lec­tion fur­ther by around 18 to 20 per­cent over last year,” Dooc said.

He also men­tioned that to strongly support the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the sec­ond tranche of pen­sion in­crease, there should be ap­proval of ei­ther an in­crease in con­tri­bu­tion rate or ad­just­ment in the min­i­mum and max­i­mum monthly salary cred­its in SSS.

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