SSS May Have to Increase Member’s Monthly Contribution to Cover Expanded Maternity Leave

This year, SSS may have to increase member’s monthly contribution to 12.6 percent to cover Expanded Maternity Leave Act. An Act signed into law by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

The Social Security Commission (SSC) — the pension fund’s highest policymaking body — can implement contribution rate increases even without the President’s approval, unlike the old charter wherein only the chief executive can green-light rate adjustments.

Under Republic Act (RA) No. 11199

According to SSS President and Chief Executive Emmanuel F. Dooc, to cover the additional cost of P7.5 billion a year to be incurred ffrom the bigger number of days of maternity leave, the SSS was looking into adding another 0.5-0.6 percentage point to the contribution rate.

From 60-78 days, The Expanded Maternity Leave Act has extended the number of paid maternity leaves to 105 days.

Supposedly, the cost to cover the bigger number of maternity leaves will be included in the annual budget, but later on, the bicameral version of the bill put the burden to Social Security System since they administers maternity benefits.

To implement both RA11199 and the Expanded Maternity Leave, the SSS may have to raise the contribution rate by a total of 1.5-1.6 percentage points this year to 12.6 percent said Dooc.

Senatorial aspirant Neri Colmenares’ claim that the state-run pension fund’s uncollected contributions and penalties reached P437 billion since 2010. Dooc refuted. He said the latest Commission on Audit (COA) report showed that their cumulative uncollected dues as of 2017 is only reached to P13.8 billion from 122,658 employers.

The [latest] COA audit covered only 122,000—-roughly 14 percent of our employers. But not all employers are delinquent; there are more who are not delinquent.

I hope he [Colmenares] can come up with the numbers that should likewise be established by an independent and objective entity like the COA… the Bayan Muna chairman cited “old” findings

SSS President and Chief Executive Emmanuel F. Dooc

The SSS does not need to hike the contribution rate said Colmenares as the pension fund has yet to improve its collection rate.

SSS had gradually increased its contribution collections from members from P132 billion in 2015 to P144 billion in 2016 according to Dooc and P159 billion in 2017, and P181 billion last year, 2018.

P223 billion is the target of SSS this year.

I know where he [Colmenares] is coming from, of course. He is trying to project that he is the champion for the workers.

We at the SSS actually are doing our very best to provide protection to the members, which now numbers to 38 million. In fact, the new law, Republic Act 11199, was designed to ensure the long-term viability of the Social Security System.

The law will stabilize the fund life of the system. We can fulfill obligations to members, [but] not pay more benefits, otherwise we will bankrupt the system.

Emmanuel Dooc, SSS President and Chief Executive Officer

RA 11199 empowered the SSC to implement any contribution rate hike. Colmenares on the other hand has been pushing for further pension increase but he is opposed to any increase of contribution.

The difference between a politician and a civil servant—the latter pursues long-term reforms even if they were unpopular said the SSS chief.

Previously, when the additional P1,000 a month were given away to pensioners starting 2017, the fund life of SSS was slashed by 10 years to 2032 from 2042.

Starting this year, The Social Security Act of 2018 mandated a 1-percentage point increase in the contribution rate every two years until it reaches 15 percent.

The contribution rate stands at 11 percent today.

This year’s hike of contribution rate to 12 percent. It will be followed by three more 1-percentage point increases in 2021, 2023, and 2025.

Employer will shoulder two-thirds of the contribution rate increase.

The fund life of SSS will be extended until 2045 with a higher contribution rate said Dooc.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.