SSS expects Congress to pass SSS charter amendments this year
The Social Security System on Sunday said it expects Congress to pass within the year the proposed amendments to the SSS Charter, which, among others, will grant the state-run pension fund power to raise the contribution rate to maintain its fund life.
Last Friday, SSS president and chief executive Emmanuel F. Dooc said that Senator Richard Gordon, the sponsor of Senate Bill No. 1753, committed to pass the bill before this week’s sine die adjournment.
“That was a part of his [Senator Gordon’s] sponsorship speech. He expressed the wish that his colleagues shall approve the bill before the session adjourns. In fact, our bill is set for interpellation, debate and amendment next week,” Dooc said in a text message.
In a separate statement, Dooc said he was “grateful that SB 1753 that aims to amend the 21-year-old Social Security Law has finally gathered the attention of the senators after the committee of government corporations and public enterprises, and labor, employment and human resources development led by Gordon presented Committee Report No. 300 to the Senate floor” last May 22.
“We are grateful to Senator Gordon in pushing the amendment of some provisions of the Social Security Charter. This is a long-term solution to maintain the viability of the SSS in order to continuously provide meaningful benefits,” Dooc said.
According to Dooc, “the proposed amendment to the pension fund’s charter will expand the power of the Social Security Commission, enabling it to enhance the SSS’s benefit system and to condone penalties of delinquent employers without prior approval from the President of the Philippines.”
“It will also mandatory cover overseas Filipino workers to protect them in times of contingencies,” Dooc added.
“The amendment, when granted, will be very beneficial not only to the 2.3 million pensioners of the SSS but also to our current lifeblood, the 15.3 million actively paying members and some 700,000 registered employers” as it “will allow the Social Security Commission to diversify the SSS’s investments to generate and boost earnings of the pension fund, and to further improve the benefits being disbursed to its members,” Dooc said.
Also, the passage of the bill will “[provide] power to the Social Security Commission to condone penalties on delinquent contributions of employers and to determine monthly salary credit and contribution tables based on actuarial studies,” he said.
More importantly, he said “the Social Security Law amendment is also one of the options eyed to answer the clamor to grant the second tranche of the P2,000 additional benefit for SSS pensioners.”
“As you can see, up to this point, we do not have the power to grant additional benefits. This proposed amendment, if passed into law, will give us the power at the Social Security Commission level, to enhance the benefit system of the pension fund,” Dooc noted.
Dooc earlier warned that implementing the second tranche of the pension hike next year, as promised by President Duterte, would cut short the fund’s life to only until 2026.
After that, the SSS will no longer have funds to disburse benefits.
The fund life of the SSS was already slashed by 10 years to 2032 from 2042 previously when the additional P1,000 a month were disbursed to pensioners starting last year.
The SSS wanted to raise members’ contribution rate by up to 14 percent this year, from 11 percent at present. /e
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