THE Social Security System (SSS) announced that it started refunding one to two months of loan payments collected from its pension loan borrowers under the Pension Loan Program (PLP) in 2020 effective January 20, 2022.

PLP was launched in September 2018 to help retiree pensioners with their short-term financial needs by offering a loan at a low interest rate of 10 percent per annum with a maximum loanable amount of P200,000 payable in six, 12, and 24 months.

The pension loan payment refund is based on Circular 2022-002 in compliance with the provisions of Republic Act 11494, or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act.

Under the said law, banks, quasi-banks, financing companies, lending companies, and other financing institutions, both public and private, were directed to give a 30-day grace period for borrowers' loan payments without incurring any interest on interest, penalties, fees, and other charges. The provision covered loan payments with dues that fall within September 15 to December 31, 2020.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora Ignacio said that the pension fund will refund P105 million worth of pension loan payments to 25,231 pension loan borrowers.

"We understand the predicament faced by our PLP borrowers which is why they opted to file their loans to SSS to further finance their medical and immediate financial concerns brought about by the current pandemic," Ignacio said.

Ignacio added that PLP offers financial assistance to retiree pensioners for their short-term needs and the refund of their pension loan payments will greatly help them cope with the effects of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

Eligible SSS retiree pensioners are those who are currently amortizing as of the implementation date and those who started their monthly amortization in October 2020. They will receive loan payment refunds for their loan payments in October and November 2020.

For pensioners who started their monthly amortization in November 2020, they will get a refund for their loan payments in November and December 2020 while those who only started paying their loan amortizations in December 2020 will only get a one-month refund for December 2020.

"We advise our pensioners that they no longer have to visit SSS to apply for the said refund. Like the refund of the April and May 2020 loan payments last December 9 and 10, 2021 under Bayanihan 1, these pension loan payment refunds will automatically be credited to qualified pensioners through their respective SSS UMID-ATM card or Union Bank QuickCard savings accounts where they already received the proceeds," Ignacio added. said.

In addition, SSS would also extend the pensioner's loan payment term by one or two months without any additional interest or penalty. Suppose a pensioner's loan payment term is until September 2021 and received a two-month refund; their payment terms will be until November 2021 without any interest or penalties.

Likewise, their pension loan will remain insured without any additional premiums until the end of the extended payment term.

Pensioners may also renew their applications after the expiration of their original loan payment term. However, the remaining balance from the pensioners' previous pension loan will be deducted from their current or new loans.

For example, a pensioner's original loan term is until September 2021, but the refund extended it until November 2021. The pensioner can already renew his pension loan by October 2021, wherein any outstanding balance from the pensioner's previous loan will be deducted from his new pension loan.

From January to December 2021, the SSS has released P3.09 billion worth of pension loans to 69,111 pension loan borrowers.

For more information, visit the uSSSap Tayo Portal at https://crms.sss.gov.ph, follow the SSS on Facebook at "Philippine Social Security System - SSS," Instagram and YouTube at "mysssph," Twitter at "PHLSSS," or join its Viber Community at "MYSSSPH Updates." (PR)