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Bayan Muna Rep. Zarate scores proposal to raise SSS contributions

Dec 19, 2016 @ 15:19

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate on Monday, December 19, scored the proposal to raise the Social Security System member contributions to boost the firm’s fund life amid the looming implementation of the P2,000 monthly pension for SSS pensioners.

“This is a Grinch-like proposal that only spoils the justness of providing the long-awaited pension hike of our SSS pensioners,” the politiko, who was one of the principal authors of House Joint Resolution No. 10 granting the two-step, across-the-board increase of P2,000 in the SSS monthly pension, said.

“During the House and Senate hearings, SSS Chairman Amado Valdez explicitly said that raising membership premium, is the least, even last, of their options. In fact, if at all, government subsidy for the pension fund as provided for by the SSS charter is even higher in their options,” Zarate added.

The adjustment in member contribution was floated by the country’s economic managers, who have recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte that the P2,000 pension hike be made contingent on a corresponding adjustment in the contributions of employers, employees, self-employed individuals and volunteer members to save the pension fund from bankruptcy.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia claimed that without an accompanying premium hike, the proposed pension hike would supposedly unduly jack up the unfunded liabilities of the SSS from P3.5 trillion to P5.9 trillion.

The three secretaries recommended an increase in the member contribution from the current 11 percent to 17 percent upon the implementation of the Congress-proposed SSS pension hike.

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