SSS ceases benefit payouts in checks as it goes fully electronic in payments

Published October 23, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Chino S. Leyco

State-run Social Security System (SSS) is going full electronic as the pension fund ceased disbursing benefit payouts to its members through traditional checks.

Aurora C. Ignacio, SSS president and chief executive
Aurora C. Ignacio, SSS president and chief executive

In a statement, Aurora C. Ignacio, SSS president and chief executive said lump sum disability, death and retirement benefits, including Employees’ Compensation (EC) disability benefit, which were previously released through checks, are now mandatorily released through banks.

“This improvement allows the SSS to efficiently and safely administer the payment of benefits to its members and their rightful beneficiaries,” Ignacio said.

Under the program, lump sum benefit payments are remitted by the SSS to the member or claimant’s account in their preferred SSS-accredited bank.

To date, there are 67 SSS-accredited paying banks including Asia United Bank, Bank of the Philippine Islands, China Banking Corp., Development Bank of the Philippines, EastWest Bank, and Land Bank of the Philippines.

Also included are Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. or Metrobank, Philippine National Bank, Philippine Veterans Bank, RCBC Savings Bank, Security Bank Corporation (SBC), and Union Bank of the Philippines.

A qualified member or claimant for any of the benefit programs will now be required to present to the SSS a bank document with his/her name.

Bank documents that may be presented are a single savings account passbook, ATM card with name and account number, validated initial deposit slip or copy of bank certificate/statement, if the name of member or claimant and/or savings account number is not indicated in the ATM card or an accomplished Visa cash card enrollment form.

The bank certificate or statement shall be duly signed by the bank’s authorized signatory and shall contain the complete name of the member or claimant, savings account number, and the bank’s branch name and complete address.

“Members or claimants may also use their Unified Multi-purpose Identification (UMID) card if it is enrolled as an ATM. These are UMID cards issued with EMV chips,” Ignacio said.

For members or claimants that have no existing single savings account, the SSS will issue them a letter of introduction for them to present to their chosen SSS-accredited bank.

On the other hand, some cases are exempted from the mandatory release of the said lump sum benefits thru banks.

These include cases when the address of the member or claimant is beyond 30 kilometers to the nearest SSS-accredited bank or in a high-risk area where peace and order is unstable due to the presence of armed conflict.

Also, when the amount of benefit is P1,000 and below, or when the member or claimant is confined in an applicable institution such as penitentiary, correctional institution or rehabilitation center, the member is not qualified of the check-less transaction.

Similarly, when the member or claimant is physically incapable of transacting business with the bank, and when there are multiple legal heirs as claimants, he/she will be exempted.