By Chino S. Leyco
The Department of Finance (DOF) wants the Social Security System (SSS) to beef up its digital processes to hasten the pension fund’s services to members and pensioners.
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, who is also the Social Security Commission (SSC) ex-officio chairman, said the pension fund needs to use its digital tools to make it easier for members to access its services.
At the same time, Dominguez said that going digital will also help reduce SSS’ overhead expenses.
“We need to be very prudent in managing expenses because we are talking about the hard-earned savings of Filipino workers. The new SSS law has provided the means to beef up the pension fund through contribution rate adjustments,” Dominguez said.
“Our role now is to digitize processes that will make it easier for members to access services. Modernizing systems will also eventually save on costs and other operating expenses,” he added.
Based on the Social Security Act of 2018, SSS is allowed to spend no more than 12 percent of the total yearly contributions plus three percent of other revenues for administrative and operational expenses such as salaries and wages, supplies and materials, depreciation, and the maintenance of offices.
SSS financial statements showed the pension fund utilizes an average of five percent of its total revenue for annual operating expenses since 2016.
Operating expenses amounted to P9.48 billion in 2016, P9.54 billion in 2017, and P9.76 billion in 2018.
As part of his mandate, Dominguez also wants to see more investments in information technology in support of the planned digital transformation of the pension fund.
“We have to do some serious investments in technology because it will not only save us money, but will also save time for the transacting public. Online transactions are easier and more convenient. But I directed the SSS management at the same time to be clear as to when exactly we are supposed to see the returns of our investments in electronic services,” Dominguez said.
At present, SSS electronic services include online application for SS number issuance, application for member data amendment, Payment Reference Number (PRN) inquiry and generation, employment report submission, submission of contribution (R-3) and loan collection list (ML-2), salary loan application, certification of salary application, filing of maternity and sickness notification.