Two pensioner centenarians received their Php100,000 pensions the from Government Service Insusrance System (GSIS) recently.
The pension checks were handed over by GSIS President and General Manager (PGM) Robert G. Vergara during the stakeholders’ dialogue on Friday at the Batangas City Convention Center to PGM Vergara handed checks to pensioners Cornelia Cabual and Socorro Podador, 101 and 100 years old, respectively.
It was part of the package of new milestone benefits for old-age and disability pensioners. Ninety-three year-old Salvador Hornilla also received Php20,000 from the pension fund chief.
“We are introducing the milestone benefits for old-age and disability pensioners who are 90 years old and above because they are the most vulnerable members of GSIS,” he said.
Some 6,000 pensioners who are 90 to 94 years old as of September 1, 2015 will be granted Php20,000 while over 1,100 pensioners who are 95 to 99 years old will receive Php50,000. A total of 181 pensioners who are 100 years old and above will get Php100,000.
Further, more than 272,000 old-age and disability pensioners as of 31 December 2014 have started receiving a one-time benefit equivalent to one-month pension or Php10,000, whichever is lower.
PGM Vergara added that starting 2 September 2015 and thereafter, pensioners who will turn 90, 95, and 100 years old will be paid a milestone benefit of Php20,000, Php30,000, and Php50,000, respectively, on their birthday.
He said that the GSIS’s funeral benefit for members and pensioners was also increased to Php 30,000 from Php 20,000.
“The funeral benefit was last raised to Php20,000 from Php18,000 in 2001, or 14 years ago. The increase is long overdue,” he said.
GSIS is in a position to grant these benefits due to its record financial performance in 2014. Total assets reached Php908 billion, while income spiked to Php140 billion and revenues to Php231 billion.
The pension fund chief also discussed the other reforms implemented in the last five years to provide responsive service for its 1.9 million stakeholders.
These include the non-suspension of loan privileges of active members in suspended agencies, the reduction in the inaccurate volume of accounts from Php30 billion in 2010 to Php2.4 billion in 2014, the increased minimum basic pension of Php5,000 for old-age and disability pensioners;
The relaxed entitlement requirement for survivorship pension, allowing surviving spouses of deceased members to receive pension even if they are receiving income and pension from other institutions; and the removal of personal appearance as a requirement to determine the status of local pensioners.
Vergara further said that the turnaround time (TAT) in monitoring social insurance claims such as retirement, life insurance, disability, survivorship and funeral are well within the prescribed TAT.
As a result of the reforms implemented by GSIS, the pension fund garnered the top spot in the 2014 Anti-Red Tape Act customer feedback survey of the Civil Service Commission covering more than 1,000 agencies.
GSIS earned the highest percentage of offices nationwide that have been rated EXCELLENT, of which 38 of its branch offices out of 57 surveyed, earned an EXCELLENT rating. Not one GSIS office received a failing mark.
Meanwhile, grantees of the 2014 GSIS Scholarship Program from Batangas and representatives from the 2014 Adopt a School Program beneficiary Little Baguio Elementary School, in Sta. Maria, Laguna, extended their gratitude to GSIS.
Both programs form part of the pension fund’s corporate social responsibility. Some 2,000 members and pensioners from Laguna, Batangas, and Lucena graced the event. (Joel C. Atencio)