BUSINESS leaders in Cebu welcomed the approval of the P1,000 increase in the pension of retired Social Security System (SSS) members.
“It’s a shot in the arm in uplifting the plight of the Filipino people. The SSS pension hike will surely benefit a lot of Filipinos by providing more security to its members that will generate more economic activity,” said Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) president Glenn Anthony Soco.
Malacañang on Tuesday announced that President Rodrigo Duterte approved a P1,000 pension increase this month.
SSS members would have a corresponding 1.5 percent increase in contribution rate hike in May or 12.5 percent from the current 11 percent contribution rate and an increase monthly salary credit to P20,000 from the current P16,000.
In peso value, the additional total contribution will range from P15 to P740 equally shared by the employer and employee.
“The SSS pension hike approval by the President was done to fulfill a campaign promise. To ensure sustainability, we hope this was done after careful study of the funds available at SSS to support this move,” said Melanie Ng, president of Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Duterte approved the hike amid calls for him to sign the proposal for a P2,000 increase in the pension of SSS retirees. SSS chair Amado Valdez was quoted in a report saying that the first tranche of the increase will take effect this month while the second P1,000 increase would be in 2022 or earlier. SSS said the hike will benefit the agency’s over two million pensioners.
“It’s good to note that this will come in tranches so as to lessen the impact on the cost of doing business and on the employees whose contribution will increase as well,” said Ng.
Lawyer Alberto Montalbo, officer-in-charge and vice president for SSS Central Visayas, said that while the hike in pension meant an increase in contributions, members should look at this as something that benefits them in the long-term.
“This is an assurance that by the time our members retire, they will not only be getting P1,200 pension monthly but P3,000 minimum pension monthly,” said Montalbo.
As of January to September 2016, SSS recorded 34.5 million members nationwide, with 25 million coming from the corporate segment.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 12, 2017.
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