GSIS releases P18.78 billion in pension benefits for Jan-Oct 2010
Butuan City (3 December) -- The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) has disbursed close to P19 billion in monthly pension benefits in the first ten months of the year, up 11.36 percent from last year's P16.87 billion.
The increase was attributed to the growing number of pensioners the GSIS services every year and the pension increase that was implemented by the pension fund in January 2010.
The GSIS declared a 1.5 percent increase in pension for existing and qualified regular pensioners. The increase was based on their 2005 monthly pension.
At the same time, a 1.5 percent pension increase was granted to pensioners whose pensions started after 2005. The increase was based on their original monthly pension.
Data showed that of the total amount of pension benefits paid in January to October this year, P16.38 billion were paid to old-age pensioners, while P2.4 billion were given to survivorship pensioners.
The GSIS has close to 280,000 active pensioners, old-age and survivorship combined and disburses an average of P1.7 billion in pension benefits every month.
Pensioners of the GSIS remain the highest earning retirees in the country today. Apart from their monthly pension, eligible old-age pensioners are entitled to cash gifts at the end of the year which they receive electronically, a service unique to pensioners of the pension fund.
With the use of their eCard, GSIS pensioners can withdraw their monthly pension, cash gift, and even the proceeds of their pension loan from any Megalink, Bancnet, or Expressnet ATMs nationwide.
Meanwhile, pensioners living abroad can also withdraw the same benefits and loan proceeds from any ATM abroad with a VISA Plus Network at the currency of the country they are in.
The GSIS has also made it easier for its pensioners to renew their active status. The annual renewal of active status anytime within the birth month ensures that pensioners continue to receive their monthly pension.
Before, pensioners living in the Philippines or abroad, had to make personal appearances in any servicing GSIS office in the country once a year, during their birth month, to avoid suspension of monthly pension.
Today, pensioners, both old-age and survivorship, can already renew their active status through SKYPE or through the GSIS Wireless Automated Processing System (G-W@PS) kiosk using their eCard.
These kiosks, which now total to 263, are available in all GSIS servicing offices and selected government agencies nationwide. By the first semester of next year, GSIS will deploy additional 500 kiosks in all division offices of the Education Department, provincial capitols, city halls and clusters of municipalities as well as government agencies across the country.
GSIS President and General Manager Robert G. Vergara said Management and the Board of Trustees are studying ways to make it more convenient for pensioners to renew their active status. "Our vision is to harness technology so that eventually, all our pensioners need not come to the GSIS office for renewal of their active status. They can just do it in the comfort of their own homes through technology-enabled means."
He reaffirmed the mandate of the pension fund "to provide retirement benefits to our stakeholders, especially our pensioners who have rendered years of public service to our nation." (GSIS/PIA-Caraga) [top]