Tibaldo: Employee benefits upon retirement

Consumers atbp.

SPECULATIVE infographics and memes have recently hit social media giving insights that early retirement for employed workers can lead to a much longer life compared to those who opt to retire beyond the age of sixty. This trending post must have startled the minds of many that it was later shared to reach thousands of netizens including skeptics, believers and those like me who are contemplating to retire soon.

The meme says that if you retire at ages 60 to 65, chances are you won’t be able to enjoy your retirement benefits as your remaining life on earth will be shorter as compared to those who retire at age 55. Having served two national government offices for more than three decades, I think the best option for me now is to follow the desires of my heart and lead a simpler life at peace without the hassles and bustles of an eight-to-five office work. In truth, I really wanted to simply settle down as an artist to undertake creative works such as painting, sculpture or perhaps establish an art academy that caters to young art enthusiasts.

Recently, my office invited resource speakers from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-Ibig Fund on how currently serving employees like us can avail of their services upon reaching the eligible age of 60 or mandatory age of 65.

Invited to speak about the types of pension and other support that the GSIS can offer to its retiring pensioners is Branch Manager Quintin Bañez of the Baguio field office. After elaborating the types of membership from regular to special members with the given personal and employer shares, Bañez, discussed what they refer to as their benefit package. This offer includes; life insurance, retirement benefits, separation benefits, survivorship benefits and employees compensation.

Accordingly, RA 8291, the Presidential Decree expanding and increasing the coverage and benefits of the Government Service Insurance System may be availed of by those who have rendered at least 15 years of service in government and must be at least 60 years of age upon retirement.

The retirement packages as explained gives retirees the option to receive a 5-Year Lump Sum and Old Age Pension of which the retirees can get their five-year pension in advance. The lump sum is equivalent to 60 months of the Basic Monthly Pension (BMP) payable at the time of retirement and after five years, the retirees will start receiving their monthly pension. Another option is for the retirees to receive a Cash Payment equivalent to 18 times the Basic Monthly Pension (BMP) upon retirement with a monthly pension for life payable immediately after retirement date.

Aside from their monthly pension, old age pensioners also enjoy the benefits and privileges of Christmas cash gift, annual pension increase subject to the maximum limit approved by the GSIS Board of Trustees, milestone benefit given on their 90th, 95th, and 100th birthday and funeral benefit. In case of death, the GSIS also offers survivorship benefit for their pensioner’s spouse and minor children. Pensioners are also eligible to a pension loan and pensioner’s emergency loan but subject to the approval of GSIS based on total length of service and paid premiums.

The GSIS under RA 8291 also provides pensioners with benefits of disability if they are incapable to work or to engage in any gainful occupation, resulting in loss of income. They may be any of the 2 types according to RA 8291 on Disability Pensioners and one are those who sustained non-work connected disabilities with employees’ compensation (EC) pensioners and those who sustained work-related disabilities.

In case of death to GSIS members and pensioners, the legal spouse is entitled to receive a monthly pension equivalent to 50 percent of the pension of the deceased member or pensioner. This is called Survivorship Pension however, the monthly pension will be stopped if the survivorship pensioner remarries, cohabits with a person of the opposite sex, or engages in a common-law relationship. The Survivorship Pensioners also covers minor children and mentally or physically incapacitated children of a deceased member or pensioner whose handicap has been acquired prior to age of majority.

On the part of the Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG Fund as it is more popularly known, it basically administers the national savings program and affordable shelter financing and guarantees the refund of a member's total accumulated savings which consists of the member's accumulated contributions and the employer counterpart contributions.

The contributor earns dividends credited to their account upon membership maturity and it also offers multi-purpose loan, calamity loan, housing loan, loyalty card and payment channels. Just like GSIS, Pag-Ibig fund considers members compulsorily retired upon reaching age 65.


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