Lawmakers propose increase in SSS pension

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Friday, March 18, 2011


THE minimum monthly pension under the Social Security System (SSS) will reach at least P7,000 once the House bill proposed by Bayan Muna party-list legislators are enacted into law.

Under the new Social Security Act, SSS members with at least 10 credited years of service are provided a monthly pension of P1,200, while those with credited 20 years are given P2,400.

"In view of the social justice thrust of our Constitution, this bill seeks to treble the current SSS pension rates until no retiree should receive no less than P7,000 a month, thus making it more responsive to the basic necessities of SSS pensioners," Bayan Muna Representatives Neri Colmenares and Teddy Casino said.

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"A large number of SSS pensioners have further suffered difficulties owing to the continuing escalation of the cost of living in the country, which is due, in large part, to the downturn of the global economy. The amount that these retirees receive as their monthly pension is rendered sadly inadequate to meet even the barest of their needs," the lawmakers pointed out.

The bill, otherwise known as "An act increasing pensions under the Social Security System, amending for the purpose Section 12 of Republic Act 1161, as amended, otherwise known as the Social Security Law," states that the minimum amount shall be P4,000.

The P4,000 monthly pension benefit shall be increased annually by P500 per month until the minimum monthly pension shall reach P7,000, the measure states.

SSS shall equitably adjust the monthly pensions of other entitled beneficiaries whose monthly pensions are higher than the minimum monthly pension "to preserve the integrity of the pension program."

For its part, the SSS said that benefits can only be increased if the actuarial soundness of the reserve fund shall be guaranteed, and such increases in benefits shall not require any increase in the rate of contributions.

SSS Vice-President for Media Affairs Joel Palacios said that "increases in pensions, just like any benefit enhancement, are made only if the Social Security Fund can accommodate such increase."

Palacios added that raising the minimum pensions without additional sources of funding is financially not feasible because it will shorten the Social Security Fund life. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)

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