SSS selling more properties to fund pension hike
The state-run pension fund Social Security System (SSS) will sell over P3.45 billion in properties to augment its revenues amid the implementation of the pension hike approved by President Rodrigo Duterte.
SSS president and chief executive officer Emmanuel F. Dooc said most of the real estate properties to be auctioned off beginning this year until 2022 include “dacióned” and foreclosed condominium units, houses as well as memorial lots.
“Most of these properties identified for sale were paid to the SSS through ‘dación pago’ or payment in kind due non-remittance of contributions and non-payment of loans with the SSS,” Dooc said.
Dación en pago was defined under Philippine laws as “a special mode of payment whereby the debtor offers another thing to the creditor who accepts it as equivalent of payment of an outstanding obligation.”
Citing data from the SSS’s lending and asset management group, Dooc said P2.85-billion worth of housing units will be sold to members, of which P285-million worth were available for sale as the titles were already under the name of the SSS, while P1.966-billion worth are currently being foreclosed.
Also, the SSS was eyeing P1.2 billion in sales from investment and real and other properties acquired (Ropa), Dooc added.
According to Dooc, the SSS wanted to tap joint ventures with private firms for five of its prime properties, namely: the SSS Makati Building, Hong Kong Sun Plaza in Pasay City, the SSS’s East Triangle property along Edsa, a lot at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City, as well as the FCA 7 property near the Senate.
Based on the latest SSS data, its net revenue slid by 60 percent year-on-year to P6.561 billion as of the end of the first half on the back of the grant of the additional P1,000 monthly cash benefit to pensioners since March, following the President’s approval of the measure in January.
Another tranche of P1,000 monthly benefit to pensioners is expected before 2022 or the end of the term of President Duterte, who had also ordered an increase in members’ contribution to compensate for the pension hike.
Based on earlier estimates, the SSS’s actuarial life will be cut by 14-17 years to 2025-2028 from 2042 as of last year if members’ contributions were not increased.
Once the first package of the comprehensive tax reform program is passed, the SSS would collect an additional 1.5-percentage point to the previous contribution rate of 11 percent, on top of lifting the maximum monthly salary credit to P20,000 from P16,000 previously, to keep the SSS’s actuarial life until 2040.
The contribution rate shall rise to 17 percent in the coming years. JPV