A militant lawmaker on Tuesday criticized the plan of the Social Security System seeking to delay the implementation of the second tranche of additional P1,000 pension scheduled next year.
“The SSS board is gravely insensitive if they push through with this plan,” Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate said.
Zarate, member of the Makabayan Bloc, said the SSS board was constantly harping on the need to increase the premium on the belief that the benefits would increase with the contribution hike.
“But they remain silent on what they have done to increase their collections, among others, without raising the contribution,” Zarate said.
“We have always pointed out, as what former [SSS] Chair Amado Valdez also believes then, that SSS contribution hikes should be the last resort in extending the pension fund life,” he added.
The SSS earlier said it sought to defer the implementation of the second tranche of the P2,000 pension increase until the state-run pension fund was able to effect a contribution hike.
More than two-million pensioners will benefit from the second tranche of the P1,000 additional benefit released on March 10, said SSS president and chief executive officer Emmanuel Dooc.
Zarate said the state-run pension fund must be able to find a way to fund the pension hike.
“The SSS pension increase should be funded by their collection which under the previous administration has been a dismal 38-42 percent, which means SSS failed to collect from many employers who did not transmit the SSS contributions of their employees. SSS only collects contribution from 12 million of its 31 million members,” Zarate said.
“If SSS will only be able to collect these, then even the pension increase can be funded without need for contribution increase. If they improve their investment efficiency and maximize income from their investments, SSS funds will be more than enough to fund additional pension increases,” he added.