Bill on SSS pension hike hurdles committee level
The proposal for a P2,000 Social Security System (SSS) pension hike hurdled the committee level at the House of Representatives on Wednesday, one step closer to approval after its ill-fated veto during the previous Aquino administration.
In a statement, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, one of the authors of the bill, said he hoped the proposed measure to increase the pension of senior citizens would be approved by the 17th Congress soon.
“Our senior citizens have long been waiting for their pension to increase and if not for the unwarranted veto of former President Aquino they could have already been enjoying higher pensions now,” Zarate said.
The House committee on government enterprises and privatization approved the motion of Zarate for the omnibus approval of the 15 bills for the SSS pension hike, most of which provides for a P2,000 pension increase.
The committee approval endorses the bills for second reading approval at the plenary.
SSS Vice President Gregory Ongkeko warned the committee that a P500 increase in pension could result in a 1.5 percent increase in contribution each year.
During the 16th Congress or before the end of his term, former president Benigno Aquino III vetoed the approved bill increasing the pension by P2,000 because the proposal would bankrupt the state pension fund.
Aquino said the P2,000 across-the-board pension hike for all 2.1 million pensioners would cost the SSS some P56 billion even though it only earns an annual investment income of P30 billion.
The proposed law would have increased the monthly pension by P2,000 across-the-board to P3,200 from P1,200 for those with 10 credited years of service, and to P4,000 from P2,400 for those with 20 years.
Zarate said he hoped the Senate would fast track the passage of its version of the pension hike so that President Rodrigo Duterte may sign the bill into law in line with his campaign promise of supporting the pension hike for senior citizens.
“We hope that the Senate version would also be expedited so that President Duterte can sign this long awaited measure before the year ends,” Zarate said. CDG
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