The Social Security System was not spared the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic due to job losses and fewer members paying their contributions on time.
SSS president Aurora Ignacio, appearing on the public briefing Laging Handa, yesterday admitted that 2020 has been a challenging year to the management of the state pension fund.
“While we still have this pandemic, it cannot be denied that many members lost their jobs and many had to stop paying their SSS contributions, so we have a low collection. We are keeping a close watch on our capacity to provide the benefits that our members are expecting to receive in the future,” Ignacio said.
Ignacio said the increase in salary credit in 2018 cushioned some of the impact on the actuarial life of the pandemic but for this year, benefits payments has outstripped contributions coming in from SSS members.
Because of this, she said it will not be a good time to consider the proposal from some lawmakers and senior citizens groups to approve an additional P1,000 increase on the pensions of retirees.
“Our mandate is to ensure that the SSS actuary reserves remain sound. And based on our present assessments, it will adversely affect the SSS funds in the coming years,” she said.
Just the same, the state pension fund is coming up with ways to provide additional assistance to pensioners, including the approval of the release of calamity loan assistance for active members in areas that sustained extensive damage from typhoons Ulysses, Rolly and Quinta.
On the other hand, pensioners in the same areas are now allowed to file a request for three months advance pension payments from SSS.
For those availing of the loan, Ignacio said the requirements are at least 36 monthly contributions with uninterrupted contributions of at least six months in the previous year.