Dooc: Higher SSS premiums coming

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The Social Security System (SSS) will impose higher premiums—a move expected to extend the pension fund’s lifespan—once Congress acts on charter amendments pushed by the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council.

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“The SSS [charter]amendment bill has been certified urgent, in fact the next [Senate] committee hearing is set on October 3. Hopefully we can have the committee report by November,” SSS President and CEO Emmanuel Dooc told reporters in an interview over the weekend.

“Had we implemented the 1.5 percent this year plus the maximum salary credit increasing it from 16,000 to 20,000 that would have fetched us P23 billion additional contribution this year,” he added.

Dooc has said that raising premiums would extend the actuarial life of the SSS following the approval of a P2,000 pension increase that was partially implemented beginning March this year.

The pension fund wants a 1.5-percentage-point increase per year in members contributions from the current 11 percent, lift the P16,000 maximum salary credit to P20,000, increase the minimum salary credit from P1,000 to P4,000, and index pensions and contributions to inflation.

Dooc claimed that membership would also increase once Congress approves amendments to the pension fund’s charter.

“New members will be coming from new graduates and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs),” he said.

“OFWs are about 10 million and we only have 550,000 OFWs paying right now,” Dooc said, noting that the charter changes will mandate membership for Filipinos working abroad.

Lastly, Dooc said that SSS membership would also be boosted by the Dutete government’s “Build Build Build” infrastructure program as this would create more jobs.

Based on National Economic and Development Authority estimates, the infrastructure program will generate 106,824 additional jobs this year; 823,696 jobs in 2018, 1,115,999 jobs in 2019, 1,228,963 jobs in 2020, 1,399,463 jobs in 2021 and 1,705,023 jobs in 2022.

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