State-run Social Security System (SSS) on Tuesday said its net income as of end-November 2016 eased by 21.74 percent as the growth in expenditures surpassed the rise in revenues during the period.
In a statement, the SSS said its net income for the 11-month period in 2016 dropped to P28.96 billion from the P37 billion recorded the year before.
Expenditures for January-November 2016 increased by 18.39 percent to P131.06 billion from the P110.7 billion recorded in 2015, amid the 25.46- percent increase in disbursements in retirement benefits.
Meanwhile, the agency’s revenues grew 8.34 percent to P160.02 billion from the P147.7 billion recorded in the same 11-month period in 2015.
According to SSS president Emmanuel Dooc, the growth came from higher contribution of the members and higher investment income of the pension fund.
“One of our goals for the pension fund this year is to expand our membership. We would also like to retain the current membership number as it comprises more than 82 percent of our total revenue income,” Dooc said.
But Dean Amado Valdez, Social Security Commission chairman, said the income of the SSS would go up if better and wider sourcing of revenue was carried out.
Valdez added that the problem is that the investment capabilities of the pension fund based on provisions of the Social Security Act of 1997 are limited amid current market trends.
“Aside from expanding our investment portfolio, we seek the amendment of the conservative provisions of the SSS charter particularly on the investing capacities of the commission,” he said.
The SSS charter limits the powers of the commission to invest its reserve fund.
At present, the SSS can only invest in private securities, housing, real estate, government financial institutions and corporations, infrastructure projects, foreign currency-denominated investments and any particular industry that the commission deems profitable, Valdez noted.
He said the SSS is aggressively pushing the direct capital infusion of the pension funds to tollway constructions under the Private-Public Partnership in order to generate lifetime income and provide more meaningful benefits to its members. MAYVELIN U. CARABALLO AND NELSON S. BADILLA