SSS amends pricing scheme for OFW fundBy Ronnel W. Domingo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The Social Security System (SSS) has adopted a new pricing scheme for Flexi-fund, the voluntary provident fund for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), to guarantee higher earnings for their savings.
Emilio de Quiros Jr., SSS president and chief executive, said in a statement that starting July, earnings under the Flexi-fund program would be based on the average rate of SSS’ short-term placements or 91-day treasury bills, whichever is higher.
The three-month T-bill used to be the sole basis for determining earnings on the Flexi-fund.
Also, De Quiros said SSS “will continue its quarterly repricing of interest rates to keep the Flexi-fund in step with current market conditions.”
“With higher guaranteed interest rates, OFWs can further increase their retirement savings and benefit from prime rates obtained in short-term peso placements as against low interest rates offered in government auctions,” he said.
A voluntary provident fund launched in July 2001 to provide additional social security protection to overseas workers, Flexi-fund is available to OFW-members who pay SSS premiums at the maximum monthly salary credit, which is currently P15,000.
Some 37,000 OFW-members are currently enrolled in the Flexi-fund program, accounting for a combined equity of P312 million.
De Quiros explained that any amount of at least P200 that OFWs pay on top of their maximum monthly SSS contribution went straight to their Flexi-fund accounts.
Further, the SSS chief said that members without withdrawals and benefit claims within a given year would receive annual incentives for account retention starting this coming December.
“The annual incentive benefit aims to motivate OFWs to keep their Flexi-fund equity intact and ensure its continued growth for future use,” De Quiros said.
“This incentive will be automatically credited to members’ Flexi-fund accounts within the first quarter of the following year,” he added.
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