My years of service in the private sector will not qualify me to be granted with retirement benefits under the SSS law. Will the number of years that I worked in the government sector be considered in determining my qualification for retirement benefits?
Pursuant to Section 3 of Republic Act (RA) 7699 or the Portability Law, a covered worker who transfers employment from one sector to another or is employed in both sectors shall have his creditable services or contributions in both systems credited to his service or contribution record in each of the systems and shall be totalized for purposes of old age, disability, survivorship and other benefits in case the covered member does not qualify for such benefits in either or both systems without totalization, provided, however, that overlapping periods of membership shall be credited only once for purposes of totalization. Totalization, however, shall apply only in the following instances: a) If a worker is not qualified for any benefits from both systems; b) If a worker in the public sector is not qualified for any benefits in the GSIS; or c) If a worker in the private sector is not qualified for any benefits from the SSS (Rule V, Section 3, Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of RA 7699).
If any of the instances are present, your creditable services in the government may be added up for the purpose of determining your eligibility for retirement benefits. The creditable services for the public sector are the following: 1) all previous services rendered by an official/employee pursuant to an appointment whether permanent, provisional or temporary; 2) all previous services rendered by an official/employee pursuant to a duly approved appointment to a position in the Civil Service with compensation or salary; 3) the period during which an official/employee was on authorized sick leave of absence without pay not exceeding one year; 4) the period during which an official or employee was out of the service as a result of illegal termination of his services as finally decided by the proper authorities; and 5) all previous services with compensation or salary rendered by elective officials (Rule III, Section 1(f), IRR of RA 7699). If after totalization, you still do not qualify for retirement benefit, you will only get whatever benefit that corresponds to your contribution in either or both the SSS or the GSIS (Rule V, Section 4, IRR of RA 7699).
We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts that you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org