The Social Security System assured members of an increase in benefits following the proposed adjustments in the maximum monthly income covered by the state fund. File

SSS: Higher monthly salary credit means more member benefits
Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - October 15, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Social Security System (SSS) assured members of an increase in benefits following the proposed adjustments in the maximum monthly income covered by the state fund.

In a statement released over the weekend, SSS president and chief executive officer Emmanuel Dooc said the planned increase in the monthly salary credit (MSC) ceiling to P30,000 from P16,000 would result in improvements in the members’ benefits, such as pension, sickness, maternity and funeral claims.

“As we have proposed earlier, the adjustment in MSC should increase gradually every year to P20,000 next year, to P25,000 in 2020 and P30,000 in 2021. As we increase the coverable income, the benefits also increase because this is the basis for computation of SSS benefits,” Dooc said.

Monthly salary credit refers to the compensation base for contributions and benefits in relation to a member’s total earnings for the month.

According to Dooc, the estimated monthly pension of a member with 30 credited years of service could increase to as much as P20,300 by 2022 from the current P10,900 per month once the maximum MSC is adjusted.

Dooc said benefits such as maternity, sickness, and funeral claims would also increase following the planned reform.

He said a member with a MSC of P30,000 will get a sickness benefit of P900 per day, almost double the current benefit of P480 per day.

Maternity benefits for caesarian delivery will also increase to P78,000 from the current P41,600, while those who undergo normal procedure will get P60,000 from the current P32,000.

Funeral benefits will also increase to P38,000 from the current P29,600.

The first tranche of the increase in the monthly salary credit of SSS members was originally set in May this year, but was deferred to 2018, along with the proposed 1.5 percentage point adjustment in the monthly contribution rate of SSS members.

Dooc earlier said the state fund hopes to implement these reforms in time with the enactment of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act and the passage of amendments in the SSS charter under the Social Security Reform Act.

“We are really hoping for the passage of (the SS Reform) bill, which according to Senator (Richard) Gordon is a landmark bill,” Dooc said.

“This will not only ensure the viability of the pension fund for the current and future members but it will also improve the benefits being enjoyed by our contributing-members. For a minimal increase in their monthly contribution, a potful will be added to their benefits and pension,” he said.

Dooc said economic managers in the Cabinet maintained that additional contributions are necessary to keep the state fund running, especially after the P1,000 hike in pension benefits implemented last January.

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