SSS eases loan requirements for pensioners
New retirees who received even just one month of pension from the Social Security System (SSS) can now borrow from the agency’s pension loan program.
SSS president and chief executive Emmanuel Dooc announced the easing of a couple of requirements under the program for its more than 1.2 million pensioners in a statement issued on Sunday.
“Previously, a retiree-pensioner must be receiving his monthly pension for at least six months to qualify for the SSS pension loan. But through our new issuance, even if they are receiving their regular monthly pension for only just a month and it is already posted in the system, they are already qualified to avail themselves of the pension loan,” Dooc said.
The SSS will also recognize more government-issued identification (ID) cards as proof of identification.
When it was launched last September, the pension loan program required the submission of the Social Security Card or unified multipurpose identification (UMID) cards. Now, the SSS said the following IDs and documents may be submitted by applicants:
• Alien certificate of registration issued by the Bureau of Immigration
• Driver’s license issued by the Land Transportation Office
• National Bureau of Investigation clearance
• Firearm registration, license to own and process firearms, and permit to carry firearms outside of residence issued by the Philippine National Police
• Postal ID
• Seafarer’s identification and record book (seaman’s book)
• Voter’s ID
“In the absence of a primary ID card/document, filer shall present, submit any two valid ID cards/documents, both with signature and at least one with photo,” Dooc said.
Dooc said the pension loan program, the first of its kind for retirees aged 55-80, aimed at “putting an end to growing incidence of pensioners falling victims to loan sharks.”
As of end-February, the SSS said it had already released P638.3 million in pension loans.
“We hope that our pensioners opt to avail [themselves] of the SSS pension loan in times of emergency expenses. Aside from the low interest rate, we also make sure that they will still receive a portion of their monthly pension so that not all of it goes to loan repayment, which is the case when they borrow from loan sharks,” Dooc said.
“The loanable amount may not be as huge as compared to what other lending institutions may be offering, but the amount can help them meet their short-term financial needs, such as emergency medical expenses,” he added.
Pensioners can avail themselves of the loan if they do not have outstanding loan balances or benefit overpayment payables, or advance pensions under the SSS calamity package.
Under SSS guidelines, “the loan amount will gain an annual interest rate of 10 percent until fully paid computed on a diminishing principal balance, which shall become part of the monthly amortization.”
The pension loan is payable in three, six, or 12 months, depending on the amount and will be deducted from the borrower’s monthly pension.
“Qualified pensioners can borrow for as low as their basic monthly pension for two months, plus the additional P1,000 benefit, or as high as their basic monthly pension for six months, plus the additional P1,000 benefit, not exceeding P32,000,” according to SSS. —Ben O. de Vera
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