BDO first in PH to get PERA accreditation
LEADING lender BDO Unibank has become the first institution in the country to obtain accreditation as an administrator of collective savings instruments governed by the Personal Equity and Retirement Account (PERA) Act.
In a statement on Thursday, BDO announced that its trust unit had hurdled the stringent qualification requirements of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to become the country’s first accredited PERA administrator.
“BDO believes that being the first PERA administrator is a distinct privilege. This will allow BDO to further promote its advocacy for financial inclusion. It is also a great responsibility and thus, we have to see to it that it is properly implemented. We are working towards aligning our systems and processes with recent and forthcoming regulatory issuances,” said Ador Abrogena, BDO executive vice president and trust officer.
PERA is the Philippine version of similar laws covering retirement savings vehicles prevalent and long standing in more developed countries. It establishes the legal and regulatory framework for voluntary personal retirement plans as a means to promote savings mobilization, capital market development and long-term fiscal sustainability.
This framework also gives employers an opportunity to become agents in promoting savings mobilization and also provides Filipinos a means to supplement their future pension benefits from the state-controlled Social Security System and Government Insurance System.
Abrogena of BDO Trust added: “Implementing PERA is complex as it involves efficient coordination with the various PERA participants like the cash/securities custodians, investment product providers and investments managers as well as providing the required regulatory reports. More importantly, it involves educating and inculcating financial literacy in the PERA contributors.”
“For further reach, we also have to increase our number of accredited individual PERA administrators who are the only ones allowed by regulations to market PERA. All these need to be carefully readied before a PERA launch,” he said.
BDO Trust had P714.48 billion in assets under management (AUM) as of end-August, the largest among Philippine banks. Its AUM as big as the total asset size of banks outside the country’s top three. Main bank BDO has total resources breaching P2 trillion.
The PERA Act was signed into law in 2008. Subsequently, PERA implementing rules and regulations were issued in 2009 by various regulatory bodies. These were further detailed by regulatory issuances by the BSP and the BIR.
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