GSIS pensions hikedBy Ronnel W. Domingo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Some 107,000 members of the Government Service Insurance System will enjoy a hike in their monthly pensions starting January 2013, according to GSIS president and general manager Robert G. Vergara.
Vergara said in a statement on Wednesday that President Aquino had approved the increase of the minimum monthly benefits for old-age and disability pensioners to P5,000 a month.
He explained that pensioners who have been receiving less than P5,000 monthly would, starting next year, receive the new minimum.
On the other hand, those who receive more than P5,000 but less than P8,000 will enjoy an adjustment of P200 every month.
Also, Vergara said that even with the increase in minimum pensions, the GSIS would continue to apply the regular 1.5-percent increase in such benefits as provided for in a board resolution approved in December 2009.
“About half of GSIS old-age and disability pensioners will benefit from the new pension increase,” he said. “Roughly 57,000 pensioners will enjoy the new minimum pension while another 50,000 will qualify for the P200 increment.”
Regarding the pension fund’s actuarial life, Vergara said the increase in minimum pension would shave off one year – which meant that the GSIS fund would last until 2045 instead of 2046 without the hike.
Further, Vergara said the increase would be part of the GSIS efforts to be more responsive to the needs of members, especially pensioners.
The GSIS chief said that under the GSIS Act of 1997, or Republic Act No. 8291, the board of trustees might recommend to the President the adjustment of the basic monthly pension for those with monthly pay of at least P1,300.
“We (also) spared our old-age and survivorship local pensioners from visiting our office just to renew their active status on their birth month so they can receive their pension,” Vergara explained.
Instead, members can make transactions through branches of the Land Bank of the Philippines as well as through GSIS Wireless Automated Processing System kiosks spread across key cities, clusters of towns and major government agencies such as the Department of Education.