SSS eyes approval of P2,000 pension hike before year ends
Social Security System (SSS) expects the proposed pension increase to be signed before the Christmas break to make way for the release of the initial P1,000 benefit at the start of 2017.
In a statement on Thursday, Social Security Commission (SSC) Chair Dean Amado Valdez said the signing of the joint resolution by the House of Representatives and the Senate on the proposed increase before the year ends is needed so pensioners could receive the additional P1,000 by January 2017, and also because pensions are given to the banks preceding their scheduled release.
He explained that before SSS can implement the increase, it has to be passed by the House of Representatives and Senate first, then a Commission Resolution shall be sent to Malacañang for the formal approval of the President.
The implementation of the proposed pension increase is also guided by the Department of Finance, ensuring that it will not push the fund to bankruptcy.
“We are wary of possible criticisms for our support for the pension increase, and we don’t want to be seen as irresponsible,” Valdez said.
Valdez said that Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III is keen on securing SSS funds to last at least until 2039, but granting the entire P2,000 pension increase in 2017 will shorten fund life to only until 2025, instead of its projected life to last until 2042.
He also credited the legislators for acknowledging the need to balance the need to grant higher pensions while preserving the long-term viability of SSS funds. He said that SSS continues to work closely with legislators for the benefit of the pensioners and currently paying members who would be future SSS pensioners.
“The legislators have heeded the voice of the people who have been clamoring for the increase in SSS pensions. The same sentiment is shared by President (Rodrigo) Duterte, who understands that the current SSS pension amounts are inadequate to meet the financial needs of the country’s retirees,” he said. RAM/rga
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.