Press Release
October 9, 2018

SSS agrees with Senate on 'endo' insurance for worker

Social Security System members who will find themselves jobless will soon be entitled to unemployment insurance--if this Senate proposal will be included in the SSS Reform Bill that will soon be sent to President Duterte for signature.

The provision's sponsor, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, said the "involuntary separation benefits" will be given for two months "with the amount for each month equivalent to half of the average monthly salary credit" of the SSS member.

Recto said the "unemployment insurance" is not a loan, but forms part of the benefits an SSS member can avail of, like maternity and sickness benefits.

Recto described the unemployment assistance as "a well thought out proposal, financially responsible, and fully endorsed by the SSS management."

"It will not harm the actuarial life of the fund. It will not hurt the bottomline. We ran the numbers, and there is no ill effect on SSS finances. We were careful on that matter," Recto said.

Under the Senate's SSS Reform Bill, the "unemployment insurance or involuntary separation benefits" can be received by a member who is not over 60 years old and who has paid 36 months of contributions.

Twelve months of these contributions should be made within the 18-month period immediately before involuntary loss of job.

But the "endo insurance," Recto explained, can only be claimed once every three years. The Senate approved bill also provides that if it will coincide with "two or more compensable contingencies, only the highest benefit shall be paid."

The unemployment insurance is part of the raft of reforms Recto and Senators Gordon and Drilon have introduced to "strengthen SSS so it will have a wider source of income, resulting in a longer actuarial life, bigger asset base, and allowing it to sustainably grant more benefits to a wider membership."

Recto said the Senate bill is a "catalogue of reforms so SSS will be able to keep its end of the bargain with the workingman who expects that his hard-earned savings are in good hands--not wasted by poor management, or withered by poor investment choices, or weakened by populist moves."

Some of the important amendments to the SSS Charter are:

  • The scheme in which contributions on top of the regular social security pension fund shall accrue to a provident fund;

  • The option to voluntarily contribute to a provident fund, which shall be tax-free;

  • Allowing Kasambahays whose actual monthly income is lower than the minimum salary credit to contribute based on their actual monthly salary;

  •  Authorizing compromises or releases in whole or in part, any interest, penalty or any civil liability to SSS in connection with the investments authorized under the SSS Charter;

  •  Permitting the condonation of penalties;

  •  Liberalizing the investment portfolio by allowing it to invest in government-led infrastructure projects; and

  •  Amending the investment portfolio by removing certain or all the caps or limits on a menu of permissible investments.

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