MANILA, Philippines—On the eve of this year’s Labor Day, President Aquino unveiled a 7-percent increase in benefits for Social Security System (SSS) members, based on a 0.6-percent increase in contributions.
The 0.6-percent increase in contribution—about P60 for an employee earning P10,000 a month and to be shared equally by the employee and the employer—seeks to cut the SSS unfunded liability of P1.1 trillion by P141 billion, Aquino said.
In 2012, the SSS reported that it collected P94.2 billion in contributions, a 9.7-percent increase from P85.9 billion in 2011 as the agency introduced measures to ease members’ transactions with the pension fund and to broaden its membership base.
The disbursement of benefits went up by 2 percent to P84.4 billion in 2012, resulting in a surplus (contributions less benefits) amounting to P9.8 billion.
Members of the SSS in 2012 included 602,139 employers, 21,945,734 employees, 3,803,327 self-employed and 3,708,306 voluntary.
There were 1,595,741 pensioners as of last December, data from the SSS website showed. These pensioners received social security benefits (retirement, death, disability) and employee’s compensation benefits (death, disability).
The average monthly pension paid to a member in 2012 was P2,978. The minimum monthly pension was P1,000 and the highest monthly pension, P16,563.
For retirees, their monthly pension depends on their paid contributions, including the credited years of service and the number of dependent minor children (not more than five).
A retiree can choose to receive the first 18 monthly pension in lump sum discounted at a preferential rate of interest to be determined by the SSS. This preference should be indicated upon the filing of the first retirement claim.
The member will then receive the monthly pension on the 19th month and every month thereafter.—Inquirer Research
Sources: Inquirer Archives, www.sss.gov.ph