SSS told to improve earnings, services

    150

    The Department of Finance (DOF) has called on the Social Security System (SSS) to improve its investment earnings as well as its frontline services to its members.

    Carlos Dominguez, DOF secretary, said SSS should use modern digital tools to reduce overhead expenses and to better serve its members.

    Dominguez, who sits as ex-officio chairman of the SSS, said increased contributions by members as a result of better collection has helped prolong the Social Security Fund’s actuarial life, but much work still needs to be done to extend it as the rise in the number of its beneficiary-pensioners could soon outstrip the growth in the number of the fund’s actively employed contributors.

    “This institution must be as reliable as it can possibly be and as efficient as all modern processing technologies enable it to become. The institution must incessantly prove itself worthy of the rising expectations of its members,” Dominguez said on the occasion of the institution’s 62nd anniversary.

    While the SSS has substantially increased its revenues as a result of better collection of members’ contributions, Dominguez reminded its officials that even with this “impressive improvement,” such earnings will eventually bring only marginal returns for the institution.

    For 2018, the total revenues of the SSS reached P212.55 billion, which was 5.4 percent higher than in the preceding year. In the first half of 2019, revenues reached P115.53 billion, 20.9 percent higher than the same period last year.

    Dominguez said this was why the SSS needs to dramatically increase its income through improvements in the quality and performance of its investments, better financial management and enhanced market engagement, which are all  achievable, given the expansion of the economy and the country’s improved business outlook.

    “Again, only improved financial activity will convince our members that their contributions are indeed investments in the future. Because of the size of the fund SSS manages, there should be no reason why our earnings should not be better than market averages,” he  said.

    Dominguez also cited the need for the SSS to cut back on its overhead expenses and expand the use of modern digital technologies to improve the access of members to the services that the institution offers.