THE Social Security System (SSS) announced a six-month condonation program that will allow companies to settle the unpaid contributions of workers without paying penalties.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Romulo Neri said the Social Security Commission, the pension fund’s highest policymaking body, approved the program’s implementing rules and regulations on Feb. 10.

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“Employers can now remit their overdue contributions through our branch teller facilities or SSS-accredited collection agents or submit their installment proposals to their nearest SSS branch,” Neri said. “They must avail themselves of the program immediately because it will run for only six months.”

Installment

President Arroyo signed the Social Security Condonation Law of 2009 last Jan. 7. It offers companies the option to pay in cash or installment, the SSS said in a press statement.

Employers opting to pay by installment must remit a down payment of at least five percent of their total contribution delinquency. The first monthly installment will fall due within 30 days after SSS approves the proposal, which will be within five days upon submission.

“Upon approval of the proposal, the employer must issue the corresponding post-dated checks to cover all the monthly installments,” Neri said. “They can pay their delinquencies for up to 48 months with three percent annual interest, as provided by the condonation law.”

He said the program covers only penalties on unremitted premiums for months before the condonation law took effect last February.

“Contributions that fall due for February 2010 onwards must still be remitted to SSS on or before the deadline, which is the 10th day after the applicable month,” he said.

“The condonation program is no excuse for employers to be delinquent in their current contributions.”

The SSS will again impose penalties for employers who fail to remit their delinquency in full within the condonation period or default in their installment proposals. SSS charges a monthly penalty of three percent, as provided under the Social Security Act of 1997.

The program will end on July 31, 2010. (PR)