Press Release
October 9, 2018


To ensure that more Filipinos would be covered by the Social Security System (SSS) so they could build better nest eggs for their retirement, the Senate has passed on third and final reading Senator Richard J. Gordon's bill which proposes a new SSS law.

Senate Bill No, 1753 or the Social Security Act of 2018 seeks to rationalize and expand the powers and duties of the Social Security Commission to ensure the long-term viability of the SSS and thereby guarantee better benefits for members of the state-run pension fund.

"The bill is an enhancement of the previous laws; it ensures hope that the people would not be a burden to the country; that they are partners of the government not by way of exaction of taxes but by their contribution so that their welfare is assured. The passage of the bill would expand, protect and increase the SSS fund so that when the time comes, there would be available pension for the people. It will ensure a more meaningful social security protection to members and their beneficiaries against the hazards of disability, sickness, maternity, old age, death, and other contingencies resulting in loss of income or financial burden," the principal author said.

The bill would give the SSS the power to determine the salary credit and monthly contributions of members, which would now allow the commission to increase contributions "depending on the actuarial survey." It would also empower the SSS to invest its Reserve Funds to "grow the wealth of SSS and ultimately yield higher income." However, the investments must satisfy requirements of liquidity, safety/security and yield "to ensure the actuarial solvency of the funds of the SSS."

"We want to develop a culture of work, save, invest, prosper. The bill envisions a benefits-based system--what you invest is what you get; no investment, no benefit. But the maximum profitability of investible funds and resources of the program shall be ensured through a culture of excellence in management grounded upon sound and efficient policies employing internationally recognized best practices," Gordon further explained.

The bill also calls for the compulsory SSS coverage of both land-based and sea-based overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), provided they are not over 60 years of age. Sea-based OFWs would enroll through their manning agencies.

For land-based OFWs, meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Labor and Employment and all their agencies involved in deploying OFWs for employment abroad are mandated to negotiate bilateral social security and labor agreements with the OFWs' host countries to ensure that the employers of land-based OFWs pay the required SSS contributions. Otherwise, land-based OFWs will be compulsory members of the SSS and considered in the same manner as self-employed persons.

All benefit provisions under this Act shall apply to all covered OFWs. The benefits include, among others, retirement, death, disability, funeral, sickness and maternity.

"The bill does not promise an abundance of wealth. Ang sinasabi lang po dito ay pagka nagkaroon sila ng aberya sa kanilang buhay, meron silang panghahawakan. Meron po silang hinahawakan na masasandalan. Meron silang lifeline that they, themselves, created. Na sila mismo ang nag-contribute with other Filipinos towards the benefit of their own posterity," Gordon stressed.

A bicameral conference was held to reconcile the Senate-approved version of the bill with its counterpart passed in the House of Representatives.

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