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SSS priorities under new law

New Social Security Commission (SSC) chairman Carlos Dominguez III has emphasized the need to reduce the state-run pension fund’s overhead expenses and use digital tools to make it easier for its members to access services.

“We need to be very prudent in managing expenses because we are talking about the hard-earned savings of Filipino workers. The new SSS law has provided the means to beef up the pension fund through contribution rate adjustments. Our role now is to digitize processes that will make it easier for members to access services. Modernizing systems will also eventually save on costs and other operating expenses,” Dominguez said.

Based on the Social Security Act of 2018, Social Security System (SSS) is allowed to spend no more than twelve percent (12 percent) of the total yearly contributions plus three percent of other revenues for administrative and operational expenses such as salaries and wages, supplies and materials, depreciation, and the maintenance of offices of the SSS.

SSS financial statements show that the pension fund utilizes an average of five percent of its total revenue for annual operating expenses since 2016. Operating expenses of SSS amounted to P9.48 billion in 2016, P9.54 billion in 2017, and P9.76 billion in 2018.

At present, SSS electronic services include online application for SS number issuance, application for member data amendment, Payment Reference Number (PRN) inquiry and generation, employment report submission, submission of contribution (R-3) and loan collection list (ML-2), salary loan application, certification of salary application, filing of maternity and sickness notification.

These services and claims can be made thru the SSS Website--My.SSS, the SSS Mobile App, Self-Service Information Terminal (SSIT), Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) and Text-SSS.

Other services that may be filed through these channels include filing of retirement claim applications, annual confirmation of pensioners (ACOP) program, request for branch appointment, inquiry on location of SSS branch, Member/Employer/Household Employer, feedback submission, inquiry on SS information, Personal Equity Saving Option (PESO) fund enrolment, Flexi-fund enrolment and requesting of records.

Last January 2018, SSS made a bold move in its digital platform when it implemented the Real-Time Processing of Contributions (RTPC) program wherein contribution payments are posted immediately through the use of a Payment Reference Number (PRN), thereby avoiding delays in the processing of benefits because of unposted contributions.

Under his leadership, Dominguez wants to reinforce the twin messages that SSS helps its members save for tomorrow while providing them with easy access to services today. “What you put in SSS as savings today is what you will receive in benefits in the future. The increase in contributions is an opportunity for members to save more for contingencies, and particularly for retirement,” he said.

Dominguez chairs the SSC, which is composed of representatives from labor and employer groups, namely, SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora Cruz Ignacio, Michael Regino, Gonzalo Duque, Diana Pardo Aguilar, Anita Bumpus Quitain and Ricardo Moldez. Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III also sits in the Commission as ex-officio member. (SSS)