SSS marks 65th year with new programs

THE Social Security System (SSS) commemorated its 65th anniversary in September by launching six new programs to benefit its members in the private labor sector.

SSS president and chief executive officer Michael G. Regino said the pension fund planned to implement the new innovative programs to ensure social security coverage for informal economy workers, help members save more for their retirement, and for employers and members to settle their contribution and loan delinquencies.

“We have reached another milestone in our history and there is no better way of celebrating this momentous occasion than showcasing new programs that will benefit our members and their beneficiaries. This strengthens our commitment in fulfilling our mandate of providing social security protection for the next 65 years and beyond,” Regino said.

One of the SSS offerings is a new contribution payment schedule for farmers, fishermen and other self-employed individuals in the informal economy. This would allow them to pay contributions for any of the last 12 months in the current month.

“Unlike ordinary workers, our farmers and fishermen do not have a regular monthly income from their produce. Their earnings coincide with the harvesting seasons. That’s why we crafted a separate contribution payment schedule for them [that is] aligned with their earnings,” Regino said.

Another new program is the Contribution Subsidy Provider Program (CSPP), which promotes the spirit of Bayanihan by encouraging individuals and groups to subsidize the monthly contributions of SSS members.

Under CSPP, any individual, group or corporation willing and able to pay the SSS contributions of identified SSS members for at least six months could become a contribution subsidy provider.

Another program of the SSS is the Consolidation of Past Due Short-Term Member Loans with condonation of penalty to help members pay their loan obligations with SSS.

“Under the program, members can settle their unpaid SSS loans less the penalties through one-time payment or flexible installment terms,” Regino said.

The SSS chief said if members fail to meet the conditions based on the consolidated loan agreement, SSS will deduct the outstanding balance of the consolidated loan from the benefits they will receive in the future.

Likewise, SSS will implement two contribution penalty condonation programs for employers.

The Contribution Penalty Condonation Program (CPCP) is another new service, which aims to help business and household employers who have delinquencies in paying the contributions of their employees and household helpers or kasambahay.

Under the CPCP, delinquent employers can pay the unremitted contributions of their employees and kasambahay, less penalties, through a one-time payment or installment term.

“We want to help the employers since they are our primary partners in implementing the Social Security law,” Regino said.

Later this year, SSS will launch a new voluntary provident fund program called the Workers’ Investment and Savings Program (WISP) Plus.

“We would also like to encourage our members to work, save, invest, and prosper for a happy retirement. Part of this campaign is to teach our members on how to save for their retirement through this new voluntary provident fund program,” Regino shared.

Members could contribute as low as P500 per payment and upon their retirement, they will receive their WISP Plus accumulated value aside from the regular SSS and WISP pensions.

“These programs are proof that our members and their beneficiaries can rely on SSS and that we will seek new ways of serving them,” he added.