SSS allows pensioners to loan up to P200K

Robie de Guzman   •   October 12, 2019   •   2282

MANILA, Philippines – In celebration of the Elderly Filipino Week, the Social Security System (SSS) unveiled a new borrowing program for pensioners.

Under the enhanced Pension Loan Program (PLP), the SSS said more than 1.5 million retiree-pensioners may loan up to P200,000.  

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora Ignacio said on Friday the enhanced guidelines on the PLP, which is pursuant to Social Security Commission (SSC) Resolution No. 429 series of 2019, is aimed to provide adequate financial assistance to qualified retiree pensioners.

“They can now borrow up to 12 times their basic monthly pension plus the additional P1,000 benefit. SSS branches are now accepting PLP applications from qualified retiree-pensioners,” Ignacio said in a statement.

Qualified under the new guidelines are retiree pensioners who are 85 years old and below at the end of the loan repayment term if they have no outstanding loan balance, or benefit overpayment payable to SSS from his monthly pension.

Pensioners must also have no existing advance pension under the SSS calamity package and must be receiving his regular monthly pension for at least one month and has an “active” pension status.

“We want our pensioners to know that we value them as one of our key stakeholders in recognition of their support to SSS during their prime, wherein their monthly contributions were the lifeline of the pension fund then,” Ignacio said.

The enhanced loan program for pensioners grants a higher loanable amount, longer payment terms and wider range for the age qualification.

It also gives borrowers a wider option to choose from their loanable amount.

From the previous minimum loanable amount of twice his basic monthly pension (BMP) plus the P1,000 additional benefit, the pensioner borrower may now loan up to three times, six times, nine times or 12 times of his BMP plus the P1,000 additional benefit.

The repayment term was also adjusted so that borrowers will have the option to pay their loan in six, 12 or 24 months with the first monthly amortization to be due on the second month after the loan is granted.

The SSS said these options were given to discourage pensioners from transacting with loan organizations which charge steep interest rates.

“We hope that more pensioners will be encouraged to avail of this loan as this only incurs an interest rate of 10 percent per annum,” Ignacio said.

The SSS implemented the PLP last September 2018 to prevent the growing incidence of pensioners falling victims to loan sharks and help them with their short-term needs.

So far, the agency has released 59,224 pension loans amounting to P1.4 billion as of September 30, 2019.

Based on SSS data on loan term, 0.8 percent of the pensioner-borrowers preferred the three-month term, 5.88 percent for six months, and 93.32 percent for 12 months as of end-September 2019.

SSS shifts to digital processing of benefit claims

Robie de Guzman   •   August 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The online filing and registration of new employees as members of the Social Security System along with the submission of most forms and benefit claims has been made mandatory as of July 15, the Department of Finance (DOF) said.

In a statement, the DOF said that the move is in compliance with the directive of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III to shift to digital technology to further improve its services.

In its report to Dominguez, the SSS said the release of loans and benefits to members except for unbanked pensioners, have also been made “cheque-less” through the use of PesoNet and other electronic payment systems as of July this year.

SSS President-CEO Aurora Cruz Ignacio said the state-run firm is targeting to include unbanked pensioners in the “cheque-less” release of benefits by October this year.

She said that since July 15, the submission of the Maternity Notification Form for pregnant female SSS members and the Sickness Notification Form were required by the SSS to be done online.

The filing of Retirement Benefit Claim of members who are at least 65 years old and the application for Unemployment Insurance Benefit (UIB) have also been shifted to digital.

The online filing of the applications for the Calamity Loan and Salary Loan were made mandatory by the SSS a month earlier on June 15, while the filing of the Sickness Benefit Reimbursement Claim of employers was required to be done online as of July 1 this year.

The online enrollment of bank accounts in the My.SSS or SSS online portal is already mandatory for members since June 2020 and for employers starting August 2020.

The SSS said the online enrolment will enable to agency to automatically deposit benefits to the member’s and employer’s enrolled bank account.

Dominguez, who is also the ex-officio chairman of the Social Security Commission (SSC), last year urged the SSS to use digital tools to make it easier for its members to access its services.

The Finance chief said modernizing the SSS’ system will also help cut overhead costs for the pension fund.

He said the SSS needs to be prudent in managing its expenses, given that its task involves taking care of the hard-earned savings of Filipino workers.

“We have to do some serious investments in technology because it will not only save us money, but will also save time for the transacting public. Online transactions are easier and more convenient,” Dominguez said.

The SSS said it has also made mandatory the online filing of applications for the COVID-19 Calamity Loan Assistance Package (CLAP) since the program was launched last June 15.

Online filing of Funeral Benefit Claims for SSS member-claimants was made available starting July and will be mandatory by August, Ignacio said.

Meanwhile, the online filing of the Retirement Benefit Claim of OFW and voluntary members who are 60 to 64 years old has also been made mandatory starting August.

P15.63B calamity loans, P190M unemployment benefits of COVID-hit workers approved in July – SSS

Robie de Guzman   •   August 5, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Social Security System (SSS) has so far approved P15.63 billion in novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) calamity assistance loans, as of July 28, the Department of Finance (DOF) said Tuesday.

The SSS also approved P190.02 million in unemployment insurance benefits from July 1 to 27 this year, to tide over members heavily hit by the pandemic’s economic fallout, the DOF added.

According to SSS President and CEO Aurora Cruz Ignacio, they have approved more than one million applications for its Calamity Loan Assistance Package (CLAP) for the COVID-19 outbreak since its online filing was launched last June 15.

Ignacio said the Calamity Loan for COVID-19 will run for a period of three months starting June until September 14, 2020 only.

Online application for the loan is now mandatory, she added.

The calamity loan for COVID-19 carries a six percent interest per annum commencing on the 4th month with a 27-month term, inclusive of a three-month moratorium.

The SSS said members who are involuntary separated from work can avail of unemployment insurance equivalent to a half of their average monthly salary credit for a maximum of two months.

To qualify, they should have paid the requisite minimum number of monthly contributions for three years, twelve of which should have been made in the eighteen-month period immediately preceding the month of involuntary separation.

SSS opens application for up to P20,000 COVID-19 calamity loan assistance

Marje Pelayo   •   June 16, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Social Security System (SSS) is now accepting applications from members who wish to apply for loan under the COVID-19 Calamity Loan Assistance Program. 

The agency said a member may loan up to P20,000 depending on his or her monthly salary credit in the past 12 months.

The SSS specified that to qualify, the applicant must have remitted his or her contributions in the past 36 months, with a local address in the Philippines and has no existing obligations with SSS particularly under the loan restructuring program or previous calamity loan programs.

However, those who already have received permanent disability and retirement benefits are not qualified to apply. 

Once approved, members may claim the loaned amount through the Unified Multipurpose Identification card, the Union Bank of the Philippines Quick Card or in a form of check which will be sent to the applicant’s billing address.

Application runs until September 14, 2020.

This is SSS’ way of helping its members who are affected by the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic which has impacted the country more than any other calamity in the past. 

Out of consideration for its members, the SSS extended the loan payment period to 27 months and lowered the interest rate to 6% as compared to the 24 months-10% interest of the previous calamity loans.

The SSS said it can accommodate up to 1.74 million member-applicants for the calamity loan.

Meanwhile, the SSS reminds its members that the deadline for payment of pending contributions has been extended up to June 30. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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