Filipinos with PERA up by 50%

Published December 19, 2020, 6:00 AM

by Lee C. Chipongian

Contributors to the Personal Equity and Retirement Account (PERA) grew by 50 percent in just three months after it went digital to reach as many investors and participants as possible, according to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno.

BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno (Bloomberg file)

Diokno said Friday that PERA investors as of December 8 is at 2,506 or an additional investments of P18.9 million. When the BSP launched the digital PERA in early September, the number of Filipinos with PERA was only 1,586 investing P137 million.

 “The BSP is seeing early gains after PERA became digital. While figures remain modest, we are confident that the number will continue to grow as more Filipinos are able to access PERA conveniently, anytime, anywhere,” said Diokno.

He said in September that the target is to get five million Filipinos investing in PERA by 2025.

During his regular “GBED Talks” before the weekend, Diokno said to sustain the growth in PERA contributors, the BSP will intensify its information campaign. It has recently hosted webinars for overseas Filipinos in Hong Kong, Macau and South Korea in October and November this year.

 “Gladly, our kababayans there showed keen interest on PERA,” said Diokno.

“We’ll also engage market participants to expand product offerings and further enhance the digital PERA experience (and) we’ll remain active in promoting financial security and in encouraging more Filipinos to prepare for their later years through PERA.”

PERA is a voluntary retirement saving program that supplements the existing retirement benefits from Social Security System, Government Service Insurance System and employers. It aims to enable Filipinos to live comfortably in their sunset years.

Digital PERA is a one-stop-shop for PERA investors. “The benefits of PERA can now be enjoyed by more Filipinos with the end-to-end digitalization of the PERA environment. Aside from settlement of transactions and monitoring of investments, the digital PERA also serves as a one-stop-shop for investor education and client onboarding,” said Diokno.

Diokno said he also supports calls to increase the contributions to the PERA, which is a voluntary retirement saving program established under Republic Act 9505.

Based on an end-July review of PERA, about 69 percent or 1,099 of total contributors are locally employed; 17 percent or 273 are overseas Filipinos and 14 percent or 214 are self-employed. 

Overseas Filipinos have higher contributions of P110,000 while local employed workers’ contributions is P82,000, and the self- employed is P76,000.