The Social Security System (SSS) on Monday, November 26 noted it has already released nearly P22 billion to its partner banks for the release of the December and 13th-month pensions of its pensioners starting November 29 but not later than December 7 this year.
SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel F. Dooc said the pension fund has already released more than P21.9 billion to its disbursing partner-banks on November 15 to give them ample time to release the regular monthly pension for December 2018 and 13th-month pensions to pensioners.
Broken down, SSS released P10.95 billion for the 13th-month pension and about P10.95 billion for December 2018 pension.
“We have already requested our partner banks to release the 13th-month pension on November 29. However, we leave the discretion to our partner banks if they will release the regular monthly pension for December along with the 13th-month pension or stick to the regular schedule of release of monthly pension on the contingency date of the pensioner,” Dooc said.
Dooc also added that the pension fund already asked the Philippine Postal Corporation (PhlPost) to prioritize the delivery of the checks for the December and 13th-month pensions of SSS pensioners residing in far-flung areas so they can enjoy their cash benefits before Christmas.
“Almost all our pensioners receive pensions through their respective bank accounts but there are more than 15,000 pensioners, mostly in far-flung areas, who still prefer to receive their pensions through checks. For those in Metro Manila and nearby areas, it usually takes three to five days to receive their checks while it would take five to eight days for faraway Luzon provinces, and eight to 10 days for Visayas and Mindanao,” Dooc explained.
Of the total number of pensioners, more than 99.38 percent or 2.4 million pensioners receive their 13th month and regular pensions through SSS-accredited partner banks while the remaining 0.62 percent or more than 15,000 pensioners receive their cash benefits through checks.
The 13th-month pension is an additional cash benefit given to SSS pensioners, except for partial disability pensioners whose pension duration is less than 12 months. The pension fund started providing 13th-month pensions, which is equivalent to one-month basic pension, in 1988.
Aside from the 13th-month pension, SSS earlier announced the release of P442.38 million for the pension adjustment of EC pensioners following the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte on the increase of the EC benefit last May.
SSS, the administrator of EC claims for private employees, said more than P442.38 million was disbursed to 17,619 EC pensioners for the additional benefit of P1,150 per month starting January 2017 until October 2018 including the 13th month pension for the year 2017 and for the additional P425 per carer’s allowance month starting May 2018 to October 2018.
Further, SSS also offered a short-term financial assistance to its retiree pensioners through the launch of the Pension Loan Program last September 3. As of press time, SSS has already disbursed P330 million to more than 13,000 pensioners under the PLP.
“We ensure our pensioners that the fund is here for you. You have been our pillars during your younger years when you were still working and contributing to the fund. We are committed to provide meaningful benefits and make your savings work for you,” Dooc said.