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Gov’t to study proposed hike in SSS pensions

/ 12:24 AM July 14, 2016

The Duterte administration will carefully study the proposals in Congress to increase the Social Security System’s (SSS) pension, as Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III noted of the need to also consider the actuarial life of the state-run pension fund.

Dominguez told reporters that they would look into reports that the SSS has not been up to date with its collections and has accumulated a big amount of arrears.

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The Finance chief nonetheless said the Department of Finance would study the bills filed by legislators aimed at raising the SSS pension benefits.

“We’ll see what they filed. We’ll read first what they [legislators] have to say. This is a technical issue. We have to talk to the SSS and ask what really is their situation,” Dominguez told reporters.

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A number of bills filed before the Lower House as well as the Senate ahead of the upcoming 17th Congress were pushing for an across-the-board monthly pension increases ranging from P2,000 to P3,000. Former President Aquino last January vetoed Congress’ approval of the pension hike.

“It has an actuarial dimension and we have to look at that. I am not saying no [to the proposed bills], but what I’m saying is that we really have to study the issue. Just give us time to look at it, to address both the political side of it and the technical, actuarial issue,” Dominguez said.

In its unaudited financial statement for 2015, the SSS said its updated 2011 actuarial valuation showed that as long as there would be no future across-the-board increase in pensions, the fund would last until 2042, but net revenues would become negative by 2034. Ben O. de Vera

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