MILLIONS of Social Security System (SSS) pensioners have something to look forward to now that the Senate has passed the measure that will provide a P2,000 across-the-board increase.
Sen. Cynthia Villar, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises, said there is no need to convene the bicameral conference committee because the chamber adopted the version of the House of Representatives.
Villar sponsored House Bill 5842 or the Social Security Act in the Senate.
The pension hike will benefit an estimated 1.9 million pensioners who have worked and remitted premiums for 10 to 20 years.
At present, the minimum pension is P1,200 for members with at least ten credited years of service and P2,400 for those with 20 credited years of service. As of April 2015, the average pension is P3,169.
If the measure is enacted into law, the average pension will increase to P5,169.
“Given the rising cost of living, it is high time we give our retirees and their family a monthly pension that will allow them to at least live with dignity,” Villar said in a statement.
“We must also consider that many of our retired workers, given their old age, have maintenance medicines and special requirements that add to their daily living expenses. Increasing their pension is the least we could do to reward them for decades of hard work,” she added.
The SSS proposed to increase members’ contribution from 11 percent to 15 percent to be able to fund the pension hike up to year 2042. Villar rejected it, saying the agency should improve its collection and not increase members’ contributions.
Senate minority leader Juan Ponce Enrile rejected the measure, saying the granting of the “generous benefit” to pensioners would eventually leave the SSS bankrupt.