The Social Security System (SSS) collected P98.26 billion in contributions over the first three quarters of this year, higher by 10 percent from the P89.03-billion total for the same period in 2014, with the pension fund achieving growths in all four major membership segments.
The officer-in-charge of the Management Services and Planning Division, Eleonora Y. Cinco, said contribution collections from employees (EEs), self-employed individuals (SEs), voluntary members (VMs) and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) attained year-on-year increases ranging from six to 11 percent.
“Contribution collections from employed members amounted to P85.50 billion, which was 11 percent higher than the P77.35 billion total for the same period last year. This was the result of our coverage drives and stricter implementation of policies concerning the SSS obligations of employers,” Cinco said.
Employers that are classified as large accounts, or those with at least 100 EEs, remitted a total of P57.35 billion or about two-thirds of the total EE collections. Collections from employers under branch accounts, which pertain to those with less than a hundred EEs, reached P28.16 billion.
The SSS has been exerting greater pressure on delinquent employers to comply with their responsibilities under the law through legal actions such as issuance of demand letters and filing of court cases for non-remittance of contributions. Over 7,000 employers have been sued by the SSS since 2010.
Cinco advised employed members to register at the My.SSS facility of the SSS Website so that they can monitor whether their employers have been remitting their monthly contributions to the SSS. The website services are also available for those covered as SE, VM and OFW.
Similar to EE contributions, the nine-month VM collections also achieved an 11 percent growth, totaling P5.47 billion this year from P4.93 billion in 2014. SE collections grew by nine percent from P4.02 billion to P4.40 billion, while OFW contributions rose by six percent from P2.73 billion to P2.88 billion.
“The growths in SE, VM and OFW collections are encouraging for these are sectors that are much harder to cover as compared with the EE segment. It shows that these individuals have a better appreciation of the social security benefits that they can get when they religiously pay their contributions,” Cinco noted.
Initiatives aiming to increase the number of SSS-covered workers, such as the AlkanSSSya Program targeting the informal sector, tie-ups with state-run agencies for the SE coverage of job order and contractual hires excluded from the pension scheme for government employees and setting up of new overseas SSS offices for the convenience of OFWs, helped boost collections from the non-EE membership.
“We are also making it easier for individually-paying members to remit their SSS payments as they have no employer to do it for them. For example, we have been accrediting cooperatives and microfinance institutions to act as collecting agents for the SSS payments of their members and clients,” Cinco added.
The SSS has 33.33 million registered members at present. EEs accounted for over 70 percent of the total, and nearly half of SSS membership are based in the National Capital Region.