Self-employed SSS members can also enjoy retirement benefits

Persida Acosta

Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
I just want to inquire regarding SSS retirement benefits. I am a self-employed member. I just want to know if I am qualified for retirement benefits or is this only exclusive for employees. Should I pass away, will my live-in partner and relatives get any benefits from SSS? Thank you and more power.

Dear MRZ,
Retirement benefit is one of the benefits granted by the Social Security System (SSS) to its qualified members pursuant to Republic Act (R.A.) No. 8282 or otherwise known as the Social Security Law of 1997. This benefit is not only exclusively granted in favor of SSS members who are employed. It is likewise given to self-employed members.

A self-employed member, such as yourself, may avail of the retirement benefit and be granted monthly pension for as long as you live provided that you have paid at least one hundred twenty (120) monthly contributions prior to the semester of your retirement and that you either (1) reached the age of sixty (60) years and have already ceased to be self-employed, or (2) reached the age of sixty-five (65) years. You may likewise opt to receive your first eighteen (18) monthly pensions in lump sum discounted at a preferential rate of interest to be determined by the SSS (Section 12-B (a), R.A. No. 8282). Should the self-employed member fail to pay the required contributions stated above upon reaching sixty (60) years of age, he or she may be entitled to a lump sum benefit equal to the total contributions he or she has already paid (Section 12-B (b), (R.A.) No. 8282).

If you pass away during the period you are already receiving your retirement benefit, your primary beneficiaries will be entitled to receive a monthly pension. If you pass away within sixty (60) months from the start of your monthly pension and have no primary beneficiaries, your secondary beneficiaries will be granted a lump sum benefit equivalent to the total monthly pensions corresponding to the balance of the five-year guaranteed period, excluding dependents’ pension (Section 12-B (d), R.A. No. 8282).

However, we want to emphasize that the law specifically defines who the beneficiaries are. As provided for under Section 8 (k) in relation to Section 8 (e) of R.A. No. 8282, the term primary beneficiaries shall mean the dependent spouse until he or she remarries, dependent legitimate, legitimated, or legally adopted, and illegitimate child who is unmarried, not gainfully employed and has not reached twenty-one years (21) of age, or if over twenty-one (21) years of age, he is congenitally or while still a minor has been permanently incapacitated and incapable of self-support, physically or mentally. On the other hand, the term secondary beneficiaries shall mean the dependent parents of the member.

Accordingly, your live-in partner will not be entitled to receive monthly SSS pension upon your demise given that she does not fall under any of the above classes of beneficiaries. Insofar as your relatives are concerned, only your qualified dependent legitimate, legitimated, or legally adopted, and illegitimate children, if you have any, or your dependent parents may claim such pension.

We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that his advice is based solely on the facts 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


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1 Comment

  1. Angelito M.Pagdanganan on

    Dear PAO,
    This is related to SSS members who are facing troubles/problems in claiming life pension benefit.As per SSS procedures,only 45 working days the claimant can get they pension upon filling their application.This was also announced by their spokewomen Ms.Susui Bugante every time she was guest in TV or Radio station.But this statement is NOT TRUE.Members who are filling their pension benefit will face six months or more in which i am facing now.
    SSS did not shows in their original guide lines procedures that they will not accept your application unless the SE / VM verification will be provided.This verification will cause of delay in processing.
    My question is, can we have authority to file against SSS for delaying tactics for this hiden procedures during processing?