Bayan Muna lawmaker: SSS pension hike to be approved in January 2017 | Inquirer News
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Bayan Muna lawmaker: SSS pension hike to be approved in January 2017

/ 03:50 PM December 14, 2016
Carlos Zarate

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate lauded the second reading approval of a joint resolution increasing the Social Security System (SSS) pension hike, promising that the resolution would be passed on final reading by January 2017.

In a press briefing at the House of Representatives, Zarate said the resolution would be approved by the lower House on third and final reading by January 2017.

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Zarate said the bills to hike up the SSS pension was consolidated into a joint resolution by Congress, both Houses of which would approve the said resolution.
The said joint resolution was approved by the House committee on government enterprises and privatization last week. The joint resolution replaced the bills filed seeking to increase the pension fund.

READ: House poised to OK SSS pension increase

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In the resolution, SSS pension for members with at least 10 credited years of service will be increased to P3,200, while the pension for members with 20 years of service will be raised to P4,400.

The Joint Resolution No. 10 approved by the House Tuesday night sought to increase the monthly pension by at least P2,000 under the Social Security Act of 1997.

The resolution also said that the P2,000 increase would be divided into two tranches – the first tranche amounting to P1,000 would be given starting January 2017, and the second tranche of P1,000 on January 2019.

The joint resolution reads: “The meager amount of monthly pension that SSS pensioners receive is no longer adequate to support even their basic needs, most importantly their monthly food sustenance and medical needs.”

READ: SSS hike committee report gets approval

“Without appropriate and immediate intervention, the SSS will fail in its role to provide the basic economic security for the people, curb poverty, provide economic stability, redistribute income and preserve important social and individual values,” the resolution added.

As of January 2016, there are at least 33 million members of the SSS and 2.15 million retirees receiving pension pay, according to the resolution.

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Zarate said the approved resolution effectively set the implementation of the second tranche at January 2019 or almost a year earlier than what was initially scheduled at December 2019.

Zarate said the Senate would pass the joint resolution today Wednesday.

Zarate assuaged fears that although the SSS may impose higher premiums following the hike, the state pension fund first committed to improve its collection rate and dispose of its non-performing assets.

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.

READ: Aquino vetoes increase in SSS pension

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.

READ: House shuts out SSS veto override

President Rodrigo Duterte made it his campaign promise to push for a pension hike for senior citizens.

READ: Duterte vows to hike SSS pension

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TAGS: Bayan Muna, House of Representatives, pension hike, Rep. Carlos Zarate, Social Security System, SSS, SSS hike, SSS pension
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