SSS to ensure no legal impediments to P2,000 pension hike

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The Social Security System (SSS) is working on ensuring there are no legal impediments to the P2,000 pension increase, which it aims to implement in two tranches.
The proposed implementation will preserve the sustainability of the fund by SSS’s efforts, in addition to its proposed legislative interventions.

Representatives from SSS, headed by Social Security Commission Chairman Dean Amado D. Valdez, attended the hearing on the P2,000 pension increase by the House Committee on Government Enterprises and Privatization chaired by North Cotobato 1stDistrict Representative Jesus Sacdalan on November 15.

During the discussions with the committee members, Valdez requested the committee to pass a resolution, instead of a bill, providing for the implementation of the pension increase to avoid the “legal challenge based on the principles of non-impairment of contracts.” The pension fund is obligated to pay the social security benefits of its members and beneficiaries in times of covered financial contingencies such as sickness, maternity, disability, retirement and death.

SSS Chief Legal Counsel and Senior Vice President for Legal and Enforcement Group Voltaire P. Agas shares Dean Valdez’s concerns on the “constitutionality” of a bill that would appropriate SSS funds which are private in nature, and which are already obligated to finance the benefits of currently contributing members. “We need to consider its [pension increase] impact from an actuarial and financial perspective as well as from a legal standpoint,” he said.

In the same hearing, SSS also presented the option of increasing the benefits of SSS pensioners in two stages: the initial P1,000 across-the-board pension (ATBP) increase to be given in 2017, and the remaining P1,000 ATBP increase taking effect in 2022 or earlier.