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Govt reviews SSS pension hike

The Finance Department said Wednesday it will review the proposed increase in Social Security System monthly pension.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III told reporters he would study the political and technical issues over the proposed P2,000 across-the-board pension hike. 

“We’ll see what they file. I haven’t seen it. We’ll read first what they have to say. You know this is a technical issue. It’s not legislation. I mean in insurance, you need an actuary  to look at all of these,” Dominguez told reporters in an interview. 

Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Cynthia Villar on Monday filed separate bills that aim to increase the amount SSS pensioners receive every month. 

Trillanes refiled Senate bill No. 91 which will be tackled by 17th Congress when it opens on July 25. Under SBN 91, all SSS pensioners shall receive an across-the-board increase of P2,000 regardless of the date of effectivity of their retirement.

Trillanes and Villar said the last SSS pension increase was implemented through Republic Act 8282 19 years ago.

A bill that pushed for an increase in the monthly pension was passed in the 16th Congress, but former President Benigno Aquino III vetoed the bill, following a recommendation from the Finance Department.

Former Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said the proposed increase would cut the actuarial life of the pension fund to 2029 from 2042. 

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate filed a separate bill at the House of Representatives on July 2.

Zarate said the pension hike bill could now be fast-tracked in the 17th Congress so that pensioners would finally “receive the long-delayed benefit due them.”

Dominguez said there were many issues surrounding the proposal.  “I understand there is a lot of issues with the fact that SSS has not been up to date with their collections. We have to talk to them to ask what is really the situation,” Dominguez said. 

“There is a bit large technical dimension to this thing. It is an actuarial dimension and we have to look at that. I am not saying no, but I am just saying we really have to study the issue,” Dominguez said.

SSS saw net income fall 8.5 percent in 2015 to P40.7 billion from P44.5 billion in 2014.

Latest unaudited financial statement showed that SSS revenues reached P162.1 billion last year, up 4.5 percent from P155.2 billion in 2014.

Members’ contributions rose to P132.6 billion from P120.7 billion in the previous year.

Investment and other income declined to P29.5 billion from P34.5 billion a year ago.

Total expenditures increased 9.7 percent to P121.4 billion from P110.7 billion in 2014.

Topics: Social Security System , SSS , pension hike , Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III
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