SSS re­leases P96B ben­e­fit in H1, benefits 3.19M mem­bers, pen­sion­ers

Sun Star Bacolod - - Bill Board -

THE state-run So­cial Se­cu­rity System (SSS) on Tues­day said that al­most P95.71 bil­lion worth of benefits were dis­bursed to over 3.19 mil­lion mem­bers and pen­sion­ers in the first half of 2019 fol­low­ing the back-to­back im­ple­men­ta­tion of Repub­lic Acts 11220 (Ex­panded Ma­ter­nity Leave Law or EMLL) and 11199 (So­cial Se­cu­rity Act of 2018) in May and June this year, re­spec­tively.

SSS Pres­i­dent and Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Aurora C. Ig­na­cio said the pen­sion fund is and will al­ways be happy to pro­vide mean­ing­ful so­cial se­cu­rity pro­tec­tion to its mem­bers and pen­sion­ers in times of con­tin­gen­cies.

“This is in­deed the pur­pose of the pen­sion fund – to pro­vide mean­ing­ful benefits to its mem­bers and pen­sion­ers. In the first half of 2019 alone, the num­ber of ben­e­fi­cia­ries and claims have al­ready posted sig­nif­i­cant growth since the im­ple­men­ta­tion of new laws and poli­cies of the ad­min­is­tra­tion,” Ig­na­cio said.

Of the to­tal ben­e­fit pay­outs, both for So­cial Se­cu­rity and Em­ployee’s Com­pen­sa­tion, from Jan­uary to June 2019, ma­jor­ity of the amount was re­leased for retirement benefits worth P55.70 bil­lion, an 8.6 per­cent in­crease from the P51.28 bil­lion recorded in the same pe­riod last year. The num­ber of retirement pen­sion­ers, in­clud­ing new pen­sion­ers, stood at 1.57 mil­lion for the said pe­riod.

This is fol­lowed by ben­e­fit pay­outs for death claims which in­creased by 4.8 per­cent from P27.32 bil­lion in the first half of 2018 to P28.63 bil­lion for the same pe­riod this year. Death claim ben­e­fi­cia­ries for the said pe­riod were recorded at one mil­lion.

More­over, the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the EMLL in May this year fur­ther pushed the amount of benefits given to female ben­e­fi­cia­ries in the first two quar­ters of 2019 to P4.13 bil­lion or a 22.5 per­cent in­crease from the P3.37 bil­lion re­leased in the same pe­riod last year.

Dis­abil­ity and funeral ben­e­fit dis­burse­ments also in­creased by 7.8 per­cent at P3.59 bil­lion and 9.7 per­cent or P2.14 bil­lion, re­spec­tively in the first six­month pe­riod of 2019. Ben­e­fi­cia­ries of dis­abil­ity and funeral benefits were recorded at 208,863.

Sickness ben­e­fit, given to more than 235,000 mem­bers also jumped by 14.9 per­cent from P1.32 bil­lion in 2018 to P1.51 bil­lion this year.

Fur­ther, op­er­a­tion ex­penses (Opex) such as per­son­nel ser­vices, main­te­nance and other op­er­at­ing ex­penses of the pen­sion fund amounted to P4.51 bil­lion or equiv­a­lent only to 36.4 per­cent of the al­lowed char­ter limit.

Thus, to­tal ex­pen­di­tures of the pen­sion fund for the com­bined ben­e­fit pay­outs and Opex for the first se­mes­ter of 2019 reached P100.21 bil­lion, an 8.1 per­cent in­crease from the P92.72 bil­lion recorded in the same pe­riod in 2018.

Mean­while, to­tal rev­enues of the pen­sion fund on the Jan­uary to June 2019 pe­riod rose by 20.9 per­cent to P115.53 bil­lion from the P95.55 bil­lion recorded in the same pe­riod last year.

Bro­ken down, both

con­tri­bu­tions col­lec­tions and in­vest­ments and other in­come posted growth dur­ing the pe­riod at P99.08 bil­lion and P16.45 bil­lion, re­spec­tively.

“The con­tri­bu­tions col­lected from Jan­uary to June 2019 sur­passed last year’s ac­tual col­lec­tions of P82 bil­lion. This is pri­mar­ily due to cor­po­rate col­lec­tion ef­forts as well as the in­crease in the con­tri­bu­tion rate and in the max­i­mum and min­i­mum salary credit ef­fec­tive April 2019,” Ig­na­cio said.

“Fur­ther, our in­vest­ment and other in­come bounced back this pe­riod driven by strong and fa­vor­able mar­ket con­di­tions,” Ig­na­cio added.

SSS’ fi­nan­cial con­di­tion stood strong at the end of the first se­mes­ter with to­tal assets reach­ing P542.27 bil­lion or 6 per­cent higher than last year’s P511.47 bil­lion.

“With our strong fi­nan­cial per­for­mance this se­mes­ter, we are hop­ing to fur­ther strengthen the fund and en­sure the con­tin­ued ser­vice and pro­vid­ing for more and more mem­bers in the fu­ture until per­pe­tu­ity. We hope that more work­ers, es­pe­cially those who are self-em­ployed, will save with SSS by re­li­giously pay­ing their monthly con­tri­bu­tions,” Ig­na­cio said./pr

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