SSS disburses P236.3B in benefits in 11 months

THE Social Security System (SSS) has disbursed a total of P236.3 billion in benefits from January to November 2022, a growth of 13.2 percent from the P208.8 billion benefit disbursements it recorded for the same period last year.

SSS president and chief executive officer Michael Regino said the rise in disbursements this year is driven by the increases in number of benefit claims, number of members and pensioners, and amount of benefit releases for retirement, disability and death.

“For the first 11 months of 2022, we have received 4.58 million benefit claims. This is 7.3 percent higher than the 4.27 million benefit claims we received for the same period last year,” Regino said. “Our pensioners, which stood at three million in 2021, grew to 3.18 million by November 2022, while our retirement, disability, and death benefit monthly disbursements, which averaged at P16.6 billion in 2021, increased to P19.53 billion for January to November this year.”

From 2016 to 2021, the amount of SSS benefit disbursements and the number of claims also grew by an average of 11.4 percent and 7.9 percent, respectively, despite the one percent decrease in both in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The upward trend in SSS benefit payments in recent years is also attributed to the grant of additional monthly benefit, implementation of a new benefit program, and higher salary base for benefit computation.

From 2011 to 2016, SSS’ benefit disbursements reached P606.47 billion for 16.79 million claims.

“As we continue to see higher benefit payments through these developments, it is equally important for us to also implement the scheduled reforms provided under the Social Security Act of 2018 that aim to strengthen the SSS fund for us to continue serving our current and future members and their beneficiaries,” Regino said.

Starting January 2023, the SSS will increase its contribution rate by one percent, making it 14 percent from the previous 13 percent. The employer’s share of the contribution will rise to 9.5 percent, while the employee’s share will remain at 4.5 percent.

Self-employed, voluntary, and land-based overseas Filipino worker members, on the other hand, will shoulder the one percent increase. The minimum and maximum MSCs (monthly salary credit) will also increase from P3,000 to P4,000 and P25,000 to P30,000, respectively. (PR)