SSS bosses forget their real job

8

WE strongly agree with House Deputy Minority Leader Neri Colmenares that the leadership of the Social Security System (SSS) has forgotten its mandate in trying to scuttle the proposed P2,000 per month increase in pension benefits, a measure that is broadly supported by both houses of Congress and the public.

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The SSS has claimed that the increase will quickly exhaust its available funds. However, financial details, provided by the agency itself and cited by Colmenares (and furthermore confirmed by an independent check) tell a different story: As of the end of the first quarter of this year, the SSS had P427.4 billion in investments earning an average annual return of 7 percent. In the January-March period, the agency collected P32.2 billion in contributions and another P8.8 billion in investment and other income, against operating expenses of just P1.9 billion. Loans and benefits paid out during the same period totaled P34.4 billion.

As a result, the fund is turning a gross profit of about P1.25 billion per month. Granted, this amount is quickly reduced by the constant addition of new beneficiaries, but by the same token, there is also a corresponding stream of new contributors.

The P2,000 increase would, without any increase in SSS revenues, result in a monthly deficit – i.e., the SSS paying out more than it is collecting – of about P2.8 billion. While that is not an insignificant amount, it still only represents about 6.8 percent of current income, if the SSS were to do absolutely nothing to increase either contributions or investment income.

But as Rep. Colmenares rightly pointed out, there is plenty the SSS could and should do, instead of whining that it cannot imagine how it can meet the new demand without raising the employee contribution amount. It could, for instance, stop procrastinating in collecting long-overdue contributions and fines from delinquent employers who have failed to remit their employees’ contributions, some for as long as 10 years. And the SSS bosses could certainly moderate their own greed by reducing the large bonuses and perks paid out to SSS board members and managers.

SSS benefits are already so niggardly they ought to be considered a human rights violation. Even after the P2,000 monthly increase, the average basic monthly pension per beneficiary will be just P5,169 per month. to put that in some kind of perspective, monthly salary at the current lowest minimum wage in the Philippines (that for non-plantation agricultural workers in Region 1, who earn P220 per day) is P5,720 per month.

Stop complaining, SSS. Do your jobs properly. The money you manage is not yours to covet or to tap for personal bonuses and rewards. It belongs to the people who worked hard to earn it in the first place. The P2,000 monthly increase is barely the least of what they deserve.

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8 Comments

  1. Current pensioners should compute — for the past 16 years, how much did they contribute for their pension? Get that number and divide by 12. Then divide by 13 (for 13 “monthly” SSS pension payments), and compare to your current SSS pension payments. Tama ba? Ano ang mas malaki? Chances are, the SSS pensions being received are much larger than the (monthly equivalent) of the retirees contributions.

  2. Tricycle Driver on

    Our so-called leaders have tried and failed. And yet they don’t see the folly of their ways. They thought they have the wherewithal to govern an archipelago, so you gave them the freedom.

    But as you can see, we suck as a country governed by amateurs. We need your American expertise, your brilliance, your historical wealth of knowledge, to get this proud nation of the Philippines to a glorious existence never before seen in Asia and beyond (not to mention our needy basketball team that direly needs taller players).

    Help us give our Filipino boys their abilities to provide their Filipina wives the love and attention they deserve so that the whole world will stand up and cheer their efforts and pay homage to their devotion to endless love (Lionel Richie).

    More to come later. Magsasaing muna me. Hehehe

  3. SSS officials , who is your boss?/ if you cannot do your job, better resign….
    the money belongs to the Filipino people not yours…If you cannot provide what the new laws says, All of you RESIGN in your position. You have no rights to stay in your office. Pati pera ng mamayan sa SSS dinudugas ninyo..Shame on you.

  4. Vic Penetrante on

    The teaching now is ‘to love self’ rather than ‘to forget self.’ No table manner: self-service before serving others.

  5. And also yo add to its funds is to bend the practice of board members getting commissions on investing the pensioner’ s money. These board members are being paid to do their jobs with efficiency and knowledge. It is alright for them to get the commission if there is an agreement that they would pay for bad nvestments. An audit of the paid commissions to past and present board members is a must and be asked to return their commissions to the SSS funds. And please stop the practice of hiring new faces as new government is installed.

  6. What do you have to say for yourselves Mr Emilio de Quiroz and Mr Juan Santos? Do you think you deserve your fat bonuses?