SSS six-year benefit payments hit P1 T

State-run Social Security System (SSS) said the pension fund has disbursed record-breaking benefit payments to members, pensioners, and their beneficiaries in the past six-years.

In a statement, Michael G. Regino, SSS president and chief executive officer said on Friday, July 15, that benefit payments nearly doubled between 2016 and 2021 from P549.59 billion to almost P1.1 trillion.

Regino attributed the increase in the amount of benefit disbursements to a series of reforms implemented over the last few years.

These include the Republic Act Nos. 11199 (Social Security Act of 2018) and 11210 (Expanded Maternity Leave Law), and the granting of the additional P1,000 benefit for pensioners starting 2017.

The reforms under the Social Security Act of 2018 include the expansion of the SSS’ mandatory coverage to Overseas Filipino Workers, increasing the maximum monthly salary credit for the computation of benefits, and granting of the Unemployment Benefit, among others.

The Expanded Maternity Leave Law, on the other hand, extended the compensable days from 60 (normal delivery) or 78 (caesarian delivery) days for each of the first four deliveries to 105 days, regardless of frequency, with an additional 15 days for solo mothers for every delivery.

It also saw record-breaking loan releases from 2016 to 2021 with a total of P249.54 billion, an 84 percent growth from the P135.63 billion loans released from 2010 to 2015.

Regino said loan releases jumped due to the higher maximum loanable amount, launch of the Pension Loan Program in September 2018, and nationwide offering of the Covid-19 Calamity Loan Assistance Program in 2020.

Based on its 2019 Actuarial Valuation, SSS’ financial outlook also improved as it estimated its fund life to last until 2054, 10 years more than the projection in its updated 2015 report.

The expanded fund life was driven by the expansion of SSS’ membership coverage as well as increases in the contribution rate and minimum and maximum monthly salary credits every other year from 2019 to 2025.

“Much as we have progressed, there is still a lot more to be done. We will continue to build on our gains and establish a more viable SSS for our current and future stakeholders,” Regino said.

Apart from its notable financial performance, the SSS successfully implemented various plans, programs, and measures for the last 6 years that are anchored on providing universal and equitable social protection through world-class service and fund viability.