SSS awaits PRRD’s nod for pension hike
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.