Increase in SSS retirement pension pressed

MANILA, Philippines -- Citing the galloping oil prices as well as the spiraling cost of basic commodities, lawmakers have pushed for an increase in the monthly retirement pension of millions of Social Security System (SSS) members.

In filing House Bill 4365, Bayan Muna Reps. Neri Javier Colmenares and Teodoro Casiño sought a monthly pension amounting to P7,000 for SSS retirees from the range of P1,2000 to P2,400 being received by pensioners as provided under the current law.

HB 4365 seeks to amend Section 12 of Republic Act 1161, as amended by Republic Act 8262, otherwise known as the Social Security Law which states that 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.

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

He said that those who retired under RA 1161 are suffering because of meager monthly pension as provided for by the old SSS Law.

Under HB 4365, the minimum monthly pension shall be P4,000 and it shall be increased annually by P500 per month until the minimum monthly pension shall reach P7,000.

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

The party-list lawmakers said their proposed monthly pension benefits and annual increment would apply to all SSS pensioners regardless of the effectivity of their retirement.

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