P236.3B in SSS benefits disbursed in Jan to Nov
The Social Security System disbursed P236.3 billion in benefits from January to November 2022, a jump of 13 percent from P208.8 billion in the same 11 months of 2021, partly due to an increase in the number of pensioners and the grant of added benefits.
Michael G. Regino, SSS president and chief executive, said in a statement there were also increases in the number of benefit claims and the amount of benefit releases for retirement, disability, and death.
Up to the end of November, the pension fund received 4.58 million benefit claims, which was 7 percent higher than the 4.27 million benefit claims received in the same period last year.
The number of pensioners grew to 3.18 million as of November from 3 million a year earlier.
Also, the retirement, disability, and death benefit monthly disbursements, which averaged P16.6 billion in 2021, increased to P19.53 billion for January to November this year.
Regino said that from 2016 to 2021, the amount of SSS benefit disbursements and the number of claims also grew by an average of 11 percent and 8 percent, respectively.
He said this happened despite a one-percent decrease in both in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The upward trend in SSS benefit payments in recent years is also attributed to the grant of additional monthly benefit, implementation of a new benefit program, and higher salary base for benefit computation,” Regino said.
In 2017, the SSS granted a P1,000 additional monthly benefit for pensioners based on a memorandum from the Executive Secretary dated Feb. 22 2017.
Further, in 2019, the Social Security Act of 2018 was implemented. Among other provisions, the law expanded the SSS’ mandatory membership coverage, introduced the unemployment benefit program and the workers’ investment savings program (WISP), and increased the minimum and maximum monthly salary credit.
Also in 2019, the Expanded Maternity Leave Law was implemented, increasing the number of compensable days of maternity leave, from 60 days for normal delivery and 78 days for caesarean section delivery, to 105 days for live childbirth, — regardless of the type of delivery — plus an additional 15 days if the worker qualifies as a solo parent.
This law also extended the maternity leave to every instance of pregnancy, miscarriage, or emergency termination of pregnancy, regardless of frequency, from the previous limit of only the first four deliveries or miscarriages.
“With all these changes, we were able to disburse P1.2 trillion benefits through 23.87 million claims in less than six years, specifically from January 2017 to November 2022,” Regino said.
“As we continue to see higher benefit payments through these developments, it is equally important for us to also implement the scheduled reforms provided under the Social Security Act of 2018 that aim to strengthen the SSS fund for us to continue serving our current and future members and their beneficiaries,” he added.
Starting January 2023, the SSS will increase its contribution rate by one percentage point, to 14 percent from 13 percent. The employer’s share of the contribution will rise to 9.5 percent, while the employee’s share will remain at 4.5 percent.
On the other hand, self-employed, voluntary, and land-based overseas Filipino workers will shoulder the one percentage point increase.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.