Bill to hike SSS pension gets backing

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Saturday, June 16, 2012


THE proposed bill of Bayanmuna Party list representative Neri Colmenares to increase the monthly pension of SSS pensioners to a minimum of P7,000 is getting more support in the province.

In a recent breakfast meeting with SSS pensioners here in Bacolod City, Colmenares urged them to organize other pensioners to put more pressure on the legislators to pass the said bill.

Colmenares said that during a hearing, the SSS, through VP Edgardo Solilapsi, agreed that an increase in the pension rate is reasonable, as long as there is a corresponding increase in the contributions.

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SSS offered three options to be able to increase the pension. Solilapsi recommended the increase in premium from 12.6% - 16.4% to maintain the fund life, increase the ceiling or the maximum monthly salary credit (from 15,000) and revert back to the previous pension formula (.6% contribution = .5% of the average salary/year of service). Currently it is at 2% of the average salary.

Colmenares countered that, instead of proposing to increase the premium, SSS should implement an aggressive program to go after delinquent remittances and other collectibles to beef up the fund of the corporation and be able to grant the increase in pension without resorting to increasing the member contributions

In the Capitol, Provincial Board Member Raul Rivera, chairperson of the Committee on Senior Citizens, said that the provincial board has passed a resolution supporting House Bill no. 4365 pushing for the increase in the monthly retirement pension of SSS members.

Rivera, who sponsored the said resolution passed unanimously by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan in its regular session Wednesday, noted that the monthly pension of retired SSS members are so small that it could hardy sustain the needs of the elderly.

He pointed out that Section 12 of Republic Act 1161, as amended by Republic Act 8262, or the Social Security Law, states that SSS members with at least 10 credited years of service are provided a monthly pension of P1,200 while those with 20 credited years are given P2,400.

Rivera said HB 4365 calls for an increase of SSS retirees and pensioners to a minimum of P7,000.

Rivera also said the House Bill s would enable SSS retirees to “cope with the continuing escalation of the cost of living in the country.”

He added that under the said measure, the SSS shall equitably adjust the monthly pensions of other entitled members or beneficiaries whose monthly pensions are higher than the minimum monthly pension to preserve the integrity of the pension program.

The monthly pension and its annual increment shall be applicable to all beneficiaries regardless of the effectivity of their retirement, Rivera said.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on June 16, 2012.

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