Contribution hike to benefit SSS members: Ignacio

Social Security System’s (SSS) contribution rate hike starting January 2021 will benefit its members since claims will be based on their contributions, SSS president and chief executive officer Aurora Ignacio said.

During the Laging Handa briefing aired over state-owned PTV-4 Tuesday, Ignacio said they are implementing the increase in contribution rate and the minimum and maximum monthly salary credits in accordance with Republic Act 11199, or the Social Security Act of 2018.

“Gusto rin po namin kayong tulungan na maibigay sa inyo yung tamang benepisyo na kakailangan ninyo sa pandemic na ito. (We want to help you receive the benefits that you will need during this pandemic),” she said.

Under RA 11199, SSS contribution rate will increase by 1 percent each in 2019, 2021, 2023, and 2025 to bring the rate to 15 percent by the end of the period.

For this year alone, the minimum monthly salary credit (MSC) was hiked from PHP2,000 to PHP3,000 but this excludes the kasambahay (househelp) whose MSC will remain at PHP1,000, and the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who are required to pay PHP8,000.

Maximum MSC has been raised from PHP20,000 to PHP25,000.

For SSS members who are land-based OFWs in countries with Bilateral Labor Agreements (BLAs) with the Philippines as well as for sea-based OFWs, the 1 percent contribution hike will be divided between them and their employers, bringing the breakdown to 4.5 percent and 8.5 percent, respectively.

Ignacio said there are clamors for the postponement of the contribution hike but they cannot decide on this alone because this is based on a law.

She, however, said that if a law has been approved for the contribution increase postponement or if President Rodrigo R. Duterte orders for its suspension, then SSS executives will heed the directive.

She vowed the continued disbursement of benefit claims to SSS members but asked for understanding among their members, citing the balancing act to address the impact of increased benefits distribution on the actuarial life of the estate pension fund for private sector workers.

SSS officials earlier expected to collect about PHP43 billion worth of contributions from their members this year.

Ignacio admitted the difficulty in achieving this now given the impact of the pandemic on the workers.

She said they expect benefit claims to hit PHP231 billion.

In the first 10 months of 2020, SSS disbursed compensation benefits amounting to PHP159.47 billion to about 3.56 million members and beneficiaries.

Loan releases extended to 3.20 million members amounted to PHP58.03 billion as of end-November 2020.

Pension loan releases for 69,813 retiree-pensioners totaled to PHP3.17 billion for the same period.

Contribution collections as of end-October 2020 reached PHP169.73 billion, 5.4 percent lower than the PHP179.34 billion during the same period in 2019.

Source: Philippines News agency

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