Senate panel OKS bill hiking SSS pension

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A bill seeking to grant a P2,000 across the board increase in the pension of retired Social Security System (SSS) members was passed by the Senate on committee level Tuesday.

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Senator Cynthia Villar, chairperson of the Senate committee on government corporations and public enterprises, said she hopes the priority bill will be approved within the year.

She said she will adopt the version passed by the House of Representatives, House Bill No. 5842, authored by Rep. Neri Colmenares, to expedite the process.

“After going through the financial state of SSS, we learned that they need to intensify collection efforts. I also suggested not to just focus on big corporations, they should also go after the medium, small, and micro enterprises that are not remitting SSS contributions of employees,” Villar said.

Emilio De Quiros Jr., SSS President, expressed concern that the proposed increase may mean an increase of contribution from 11% to 15% . It may also shorten the fund life from 2042 to 2029.

But Villar said the government can set aside funds to subsidize the hike in pensions.

“We are able to subsidize the poor through the conditional cash transfer program of the government, I don’t see why we cannot allocate a portion in the General Appropriations Act to subsidize this increase for pensioners,” the senator said.

There are 32.5 million SSS members and 1.8 million pensioners.

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