Press Release
August 18, 2015

Villar: Committee approves bill granting P2,000 hike in SSS pension

Sen. Cynthia Villar today announced that the bill granting a P2,000 across the board increase in the pension of retired Social Security System (SSS) members has been passed on committee level.

Villar, chair of the Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises, said the bill is one of the measures she will prioritize passage before the year ends. She said she will adopt the version passed by the House of Representatives, House Bill No. 5842, authored by Rep. Neri Colmenares, to expedite the process.

"After going through the financial state of SSS, we learned that they need to intensify collection efforts. I also suggested not to just focus on big corporations, they should also go after the medium, small, and micro enterprises that are not remitting SSS contributions of employees," Villar said.

During the hearing, Emilio De Quiros Jr., SSS President, expressed concern that the proposed increase would mean an increase of contribution from 11% to 15% and shortening the fund life from year 2042 to 2029.

"We are able to subsidize the poor through the conditional cash transfer program of the government, I don't see why we cannot allocate a portion in the General Appropriations Act to subsidize this increase for pensioners," Villar said.

"Bakit hindi natin isa-subsidize iyong matatanda na nagtrabaho for 20 years? Hindi naman nila ito hinihingi for nothing. They worked 20 years to deserve this. Sila ang magandang bigyan, may listahan talaga, legitimate. Iyong iba nga nating sina-subsidize hindi natin alam kung sino-sino yun eh," she added.

After hearing resource persons from the SSS, Department of Finance, Government Commission for GOCCs, and organizations of retired persons and senior citizens, Villar said pension increase of retirees is long overdue.

"Given the rising cost of living, it is high time we give our retirees and their family a monthly pension that will allow them to at least live with dignity," Villar said.

The Nacionalista Party senator said the amount received by retirees is way below the P5,000 poverty line.

Senate Bill 2879 authored by Villar seeks to amend Republic Act No. 1161 or the Social Security Law. Enacted in 1954, the latest amendment to the law was in 1997 (RA 8282), which provided for a minimum of P1,200 pension for members with at least 10 credited years of service and P2,400 for those with 20 credited years of service.

At present, SSS has a total of 32.5 million members and 1.8 million pensioners.

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