Bicam OKs bill providing ‘insurance’ to SSS members who lost their jobs
Social Security System (SSS) members can soon avail of a two-month “separation benefits” when a bill that seeks to reform the state-run pension fund becomes a law.
On Tuesday, the congressional bicameral conference committee approved Senate Bill No. 1753 or the Social Security Act of 2018, which is seen to provide better benefits for its members.
The approved measure will be sent back to the Senate and the House of Representatives for ratification and once ratified by both chambers, it will be sent to President Rodrigo Duterte for signature.
“This is a game-changing law. Ngayon mas malaki ang savings ng mga tao, mas malaki ang makukuha nila,” Senator Richard Gordon, principal author of the measure in the Senate, told reporters after the bicam approval.
(Now, the people will save more, they will get more.)
Gordon said the bill provides for “defined benefits and contributions.”
“Meaning to say, mas malaki ang makukuha nila pag nag retire sila [they will get more when they retire],” he said.
He said SSS members, who suddenly become jobless, are also entitled to an “unemployment insurance,” which will be given for two months.
“Yung unemployment insurance based on your contributions and you get up to 50 percent of your contributions…” Gordon said.
“That means pag nawalan ka ng trabaho, you can get two months. Huwag kang papepetik-petik, maghanap ka agad ng trabaho,” he further said.
(If you lost your job, you can get two months. Don’t just bum around, go and get another job.)
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said the “unemployment insurance” was not a loan but “forms part of the benefit that an SSS member can avail of, like maternity and sickness benefits.”
“It will not harm the actual life of the fund. It will not hurt the bottom line. We ran the numbers, and there is no ill effect on SSS finances. We were careful on that matter,” Recto explained in a statement.
Under the bill, he said the unemployment insurance can be received by a member who is not over 60 years old and who has paid 36 months of contributions.
“Twelve months of these contributions should be made within the 18-month period immediately before involuntary loss of job,” he pointed out.
Recto said the said benefit can be claimed only once every three years.
Gordon, in the same interview, said the bill would also increase the “fund life” of SSS for by about six years. /jpv
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