SSS net income improves on strong premium collection
Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - February 18, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — State-run Social Security System’s net income in 2018 improved slightly to P22.73 billion from P20.27 billion in the previous year as the growth in the collection of member premiums outpaced the increase in benefit payouts.

Based on its unaudited financial records, the state pension fund has generated P212.57 billion in total revenues last year, six percent higher than the P200.5 billion recorded as of end-2017.

This outpaced the 5.33 percent growth in the SSS’ total expenditures, which reached P189.84 billion in 2018 compared to P180.23 billion in the previous year.

Sought for comment, SSS president and chief executive officer Emmanuel Dooc said the improvement in the state fund’s net income could be attributed to the increase in contributions collected from members.

“Higher contribution income slightly exceeded the benefit expense,” Dooc said in a text message.

According to Dooc, the SSS genarated P181.92 billion in contribution income last year, roughly 13.9 percent up from P159.72 billion in 2017. This comprised about 86 percent of SSS’ total revenues.

He said this is likewise the highest ever contribution collection recorded in SSS history.

“We waged an unrelenting campaign to increase our collection by conducting nationwide RACE (Run After Contribution Evaders) and Operation Tokhang,” the SSS chief said.

On the other hand, Dooc said the SSS released P180.08 billion in benefit payments last year, higher than the previous year’s level of P170.68 billion.

“Benefit payment was P9.39 billion higher than last year. The increase in the number of benefit claims rose by an average of seven percent in the last six months of the year. The implementation of the EC benefit adjustment also contributed to the increase in benefit disbursements along with the release of the 13th-month pension of qualified pensioners and their dependents,” Dooc said.

SSS, the administrator of EC claims for private employees, said it has so far disbursed P442.38 million in additional benefits to 17,619 EC pensioners following the increase in benefits last year.

Dooc said the SSS’ financial standing in 2018 also remained well-managed, with total resources of P507.32 billion or P2.45 billion higher than the 2017 year-end level of P504.87 billion.

“We hope to continue this positive growth performance in terms of our collections this year. We are hopeful, especially with the anticipation of the passing of the SS Act of 2018, to continue to post positive growth performance and further serve our members and pensioners quality programs and privileges,” Dooc said.

President Duterte signed last Friday the law amending the charter of the SSS.

The bill seeks to repeal the 21-year old Social Security Law and expand the powers of the SSS to ensure long-term viability of the system.

In particular, it aims to empower the Social Security Commission to increase benefits, condone penalties and rationalize investments, among others.

Dooc earlier said the bill is expected to generate P16 billion in additional premium collections in a year, which would help extend the fund life of the SSS.

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