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PIA Press Release

SSS members to partake of social payback too

by A. Lumaque

Roxas City (24 April) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has ordered the Social Security System (SSS) to increase the retirement benefits of its members by ten percent as part of the social payback to the Filipino people brought about by the country's improved economy.

The President's directive was made in less than a year wherein a similar increase was also received by the members last September.

President Arroyo cited the pension company's impressive income resulting from sound investment and efficient premium collection during the agency's 50th Anniversary and 2nd Annual Convention of Account Executives.

The government through SSS will focus on broadening the coverage of the institution to include the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), self-employed workers, and those who operate in the underground economy.

Chairman Thelmo Cunanan said that SSS is going to focus on the OFWs in the US as pilot members to increase the coverage of the SSS.

The President expressed confidence that SSS would be able to hurdle the challenges of widening its market, improving benefits and getting into investment areas like microfinance because they have surpassed the seemingly insurmountable challenge of keeping the SSS alive.

The President said the painful adjustments that were enforced since 2001 has led to its long-term, sustained recovery for the benefit of its 27 million members - 1.1 million of whom are pensioners.

SSS President Corazon de la Paz said the SSS Reserve Fund has increased by almost 15 percent, from P196.3 billion in 2005, to P225 billion last year.

"As a result of the SSS reform program, we are really very happy and we must be very proud that the actuarial life of the agency has been extended from 2015 to 2038," President Arroyo said. (PIA) [top]

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