SSS OFW membership hits 1.3M mark

Published November 18, 2021, 1:43 PM

by Gabriela Baron

The Social Security System (SSS) recorded 1.34 million overseas Filipino worker (OFW) members as of June 2021, higher by over 800,000 from the same period in 2020.

(ALI VICOY / MANILA BULLETIN)

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora C. Ignacio said despite the pandemic, many Filipinos are still determined to work abroad to provide for their families and help the country gradually recover from the current economic downturn.

Ignacio also encouraged members to “religiously remit” their contributions.

“SSS is one of the cheapest pension schemes in the Philippines that provides a wide range of social security programs which definitely helps our OFWs in times of difficulty. By being active members of SSS, they are assured of receiving pension benefits upon their retirement,” she added.

Under Republic Act (RA) 11199, coverage in the SSS shall be compulsory to all sea-based and land-based OFWs as defined under RA 8042 or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 as amended by RA 10022, provided they are not over 60 years of age.

All benefit provisions under the Social Security Act of 2018 such as sickness, maternity, disability, unemployment, retirement, death, and funeral shall apply to all covered OFWs.

OFWs are also entitled to avail of short-term member and housing loans based on the qualifying conditions.

The monthly earnings declared by a land-based OFW at the time of his/her registration with the SSS shall be the basis of their initial Monthly Salary Credit (MSC) and the corresponding amount of monthly contribution.

According to SSS, the minimum MSC for land-based OFWs is P8,000, while the maximum MSC is P25,000. Land-based OFW members shall pay both the employer and the employee contributions.

Meanwhile, sea-based OFW members will only shoulder 4.5 percent of the contribution rate, while their respective employers will shoulder the remaining 8.5 percent.

“However, we would like to remind them that no contributions paid retroactively by a land-based OFW-member based on the above deadline shall be used in determining his/her eligibility to any benefit arising from a contingency wherein the date of payment is within or after the semester of contingency,” Ignacio said.

“Further, we are promoting that they use the various electronic payment channels to pay their monthly contributions regularly and to ensure their eligibility to short and long-term benefits, including loan privileges.”

 
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