The Manila Times - Better collection, investment key to pension hike – Marcos

News & Interviews
17 January 2016

By Jefferson Antiporda | The Manila Times

maniila-times.jpgSenator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said a P2,000 across-the-board pension increase is doable if officials of the Social Security System (SSS) will improve its collection and get higher returns from its investments.

Marcos said the SSS can’t afford to grant the pension increase because of poor management of its funds. He noted that SSS collection is only at 65 percent.

He called on government to initiate changes in the SSS management to make the proposed P2,000 pension increase feasible.

“Maybe there is a need to look into their performance and investments and if the officials were able to provide benefits to its members,” Marcos said in an interview after attending a campus forum at the University of Caloocan City (UCC).

He lamented that President Benigno Aquino 3rd, instead of being sensitive to the needs of pensioners, decided to look the other way.

Senate president pro-tempore Ralph Recto said increasing SSS membership is among the most plausible solutions to improve revenue collections.

He said that while workers cannot be compelled to be members of SSS, the agency can raise social security compliance by marketing SSS membership as an investment instrument with a high returns.

“Expanding the base is essential to its sustainability. The more active worker per pensioner, the healthier the books of a pension system is and the brighter its future would be,” Recto explained.

He urged SSS to go after employers that are not remitting the contributions of their employees.

The SSS claimed that one-third of its members, or between 10 to 11 million are paying. The rest, or about 21 million, are either in arrears, or have abandoned, or have developed amnesia on their social security obligations.