Senior citizens get a break from SSS | Inquirer Business

Senior citizens get a break from SSS

The Social Security System has rationalized its rules on pension benefits for retired members, saying the move potentially will allow wider coverage of service to senior citizens while it keeps the fund viable.

Under the new guidelines, individuals who are at least 65 years old prior to April 1, 2013 but have not completed the required number of monthly contributions—set at 120 months—still have a chance to enjoy lifetime pension benefits from the SSS in the future.

They only need to file an “application for voluntary payment of contributions for members aged 65 and over” on or before July 1.


Once the application is approved, they must start making contributions until they make up for the deficiency, covering the required 120 monthly contributions.


For individuals who turned and will turn 65 on or after April 1 but have not completed the required 120 monthly contributions, they must file the same application within a month after their 65th birthday.

Moreover, people belonging to this specific group of individuals must have completed at least 80 monthly contributions by the time they turn 65 and must have been SSS members since the age of 55 or earlier in order to qualify for the lifetime pension benefit.

Senior citizens who fail to meet the requirements will not be entitled to the lifetime pension benefit.

Instead, they will be entitled to lump sum benefit, which is equivalent to their total contributions plus interest.

According to SSS president and chief executive officer Emilio de Quiros Jr., the beauty of the new guidelines is that it gives more people a chance to avail themselves of a lifetime pension while the agency protects the viability of the SSS fund.

By giving delinquent SSS members the chance to complete the required 120 monthly contributions, the SSS gets to expand the coverage of the pension benefit, he said.


Also, sticking to the required 120 monthly contributions will prevent the depletion of the SSS fund, he added.

Prior to the release of the new guidelines, the SSS observed the basic law governing the extension of benefits.

The law states that individuals must have completed 120 monthly contributions by the time they reach 60 years old in order to qualify for the lifetime pension.

“With these new rules, members facing technical retirement can continue to pay contributions to be eligible for pension benefits. At the same time, this allows SSS to keep the fund viable by ensuring that retirement pensions are funded by the requisite contributions,” De Quiros said.

The SSS also said that members who are currently getting pensions for partial or permanent disability may enjoy lifetime benefits in the future.

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What they need to do is to start paying contributions in the month after their disability pension has ended “until they reach the required 120 monthly contributions,” De Quiros explained.

TAGS: Business, senior citizens, SSS

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