The Social Security System has disbursed P236.3 billion in benefits from January to November 2022, a growth of 13.2 percent from the P208.8 billion benefit disbursements it recorded for the same period last year.
SSS President and chief executive officer Michael Regino said the rise in disbursements this year is driven by the increases in number of benefit claims, number of members and pensioners, and amount of benefit releases for retirement, disability and death.
“For the first 11 months of 2022, we have received 4.58 million benefit claims. This is 7.3 percent higher than the 4.27 million benefit claims we received for the same period last year,” he said.
“Our pensioners, which stood at three million in 2021, grew to 3.18 million by November 2022, while our retirement, disability, and death benefit monthly disbursements, which averaged at P16.6 billion in 2021, increased to P19.53 billion for January to November this year,” he added.
From 2016 to 2021, the amount of SSS benefit disbursements and the number of claims also grew by an average of 11.4 percent and 7.9 percent, respectively, despite the 1 percent decrease in both in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The upward trend in SSS benefit payments in recent years is also attributed to the grant of additional monthly benefit, implementation of a new benefit program and higher salary base for benefit computation.
In 2017, the SSS granted a P1,000 additional monthly benefit for pensioners pursuant to an executive secretary memorandum dated Feb. 22, 2017.
In 2019, Republic Act 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2018 was implemented, which, among other provisions, expanded the SSS’ mandatory membership coverage, introduced the Unemployment Benefit Program and Workers’ Investment Savings Program (WISP), and increased the minimum and maximum monthly salary credit.
In the same year, RA 11210 or the 105-day Expanded Maternity Leave Law was implemented, increasing the number of compensable days of maternity leave, from 60 days for normal delivery and 78 days for caesarian section delivery, to 105 days for live childbirth, regardless of the type of delivery, plus an additional 15 days if the female worker qualifies as a solo parent. The law also extended the maternity leave to every instance of pregnancy, miscarriage, or emergency termination of pregnancy regardless of frequency, from the previous limit of only for the first four deliveries or miscarriages.
“With all these changes, we were able to disburse P1.20 trillion benefits through 23.87 million claims in less than six years, specifically from January 2017 to November 2022,” Regino said.
“As we continue to see higher benefit payments through these developments, it is equally important for us to also implement the scheduled reforms provided under the Social Security Act of 2018 that aim to strengthen the SSS fund for us to continue serving our current and future members and their beneficiaries,” he cited.
Starting January 2023, the SSS will increase its contribution rate by 1%, making it 14 percent from the previous 13 percent.
The employer’s share of the contribution will rise to 9.5 percent, while the employee’s share will remain at 4.5 percent.
Self-employed, voluntary and land-based overseas Filipino worker members, on the other hand, will shoulder the 1 percent increase.