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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

Lawmakers move to increase SSS retirement pension to P7,000
Writer: Lorelei V. Castillo, MRS-PRIB
12 April 2011 08:42:19 AM

Millions of Social Security System (SSS) members would soon get an increase in the retirement pension they receive once a bill filed in the House of Representatives is enacted into law.

Reps. Neri Javier Colmenares and Teodoro Casiño (Party-list, BAYAN MUNA), authors of House Bill 4365, are strongly pushing for the increase of the monthly SSS retirement pension to a minimum of P7,000 a month to enable SSS retirees to cope with the continuing escalation of the cost of living in the country.

The bill seeks to amend Section 12 of Republic Act 1161, as amended by Republic Act 8262, otherwise known as the Social Security Law.

At present, SSS members with at least 10 credited years of service are provided a monthly pension of P1,200 while those with 20 credited years are given P2,400.

Under the bill, the minimum monthly pension shall be P4,000. This shall be increased annually by P500 per month until the minimum monthly pension shall reach P7,000.

Colmenares said a large number of SSS pensioners have suffered difficulties owing to the rising cost of living which is due, in large part, to the downturn of the global economy.

"The amount that these retirees receive as their monthly pension is rendered sadly inadequate to meet even the barest of their needs," Colmenares said.

Colmenares said those who retired under RA 1161 or the old SSS Law, are even more hard-pressed because their monthly pension pays much less.

Casiño said the bill seeks to treble the current SSS pension rates until no retiree should receive less than P7,000 a month.

"The increase would make it more responsive to the basic necessities of SSS pensioners," Casiño said.

Under the bill, the SSS shall equitably adjust the monthly pensions of other entitled members or beneficiaries whose monthly pensions are higher than the minimum monthly pension to preserve the integrity of the pension program.

The new monthly pension and its annual increment shall be applicable to all beneficiaries regardless of the effectivity of their retirement.