SSS pension loan releases hit P5B

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    The Social Security System’s (SSS) pension loan releases has reached the P5-billion mark as of end-July, the pension fund said in a statement yesterday.

    The SSS’ pension loan releases benefited 138,917 pensioners from September 2018 to July 31, 2020.

    The National Capital Region (NCR) topped the highest amount of disbursement with P1.75 billion, followed by Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao area with P1.57 billion, P1.01 billion, and P724.12 million, respectively.

    In terms of the number of borrowers, Western Visayas 1 took the lead with 17,660 borrowers, followed by Northern NCR with 17,037 borrowers, and Southern Luzon 1 with 14,872 borrowers.

    “We appreciate that this special loan program has served its purpose of providing retiree pensioners with their immediate financial needs especially in this time of health and economic crisis,” said Aurora Ignacio, SSS president and chief executive officer.

    The Pension Loan Program (PLP) was launched in 2018 to provide a secure, low-interest, and convenient loan program to its retiree-pensioners.

    Enhancements were made in 2019 increasing the maximum loanable amount to 12 times their basic monthly pension plus the additional P1,000 benefit, but not exceeding P200,000.

    The age limit was also extended to 85 years old at the end of the month of the loan term wherein they are given four options to choose their loanable amount, equivalent to three, six, nine and 12 times of their basic monthly pension including the P1,000 benefit given by SSS in 2017.

    Qualified borrowers are retiree-pensioners who are 85 years old and below at the end of the chosen loan term and have started receiving their monthly pension for at least a month.

    However, pensioners with deductions from their monthly pension due to outstanding loan balances or benefit overpayments, as well as with existing advance pensions under the SSS Calamity Assistance Program are not qualified under the program.

    “Cognizant to the influx of PLP applications, we prioritize the health and safety of our pensioners in visiting our SSS branches since they are more susceptible to the coronavirus disease 2019,” Ignacio said.

    “As part of this precautionary measure, we strongly advise our PLP applicants to set an appointment first with the nearest SSS branch,” she added. — Angela Celis