GSIS planholders complain of incomplete payments

By Zen Hernandez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 14 2011 12:48 AM | Updated as of May 14 2011 11:01 PM

MANILA, Philippines - State pension fund Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) has said it is doing its best to return the money of its educational planholders.

Some members complained, however, that they are not receiving the proper amounts or are unable to get refunds.

One of them is government employee Victoria Sevillano, who bought educational plans from GSIS for her 3 children. Two of them have already graduated, but she said she has not received a single centavo from the agency.

Sevillano said she was told that the educational plans were terminated because these were not used during the prescribed period.

"Sakit ng ulo kasi bilang nanay, inasahan ko 'yan para sa tuition pero wala akong nakuha," she said.

Another mother, Placida Lucena, also availed of an educational plan worth P48,000 for her child.

Instead of P14,000 per semester, she only gets P2,000 from GSIS.

"Noong binabayaran ko 'yun, may time na nga na 'di ko nabayaran 'yung housing loan para doon, kasi mahuli ka lang ng bayad wala pero sila pwedeng mahuli," she said.

Currently, GSIS has over 167,000 educational planholders. The agency said it continues to struggle because it asked for small premiums, not foreseeing how high tuition would increase.

Its case is similar to that of pre-need companies that eventually shut down.

"We ourselves are struggling to meet the promises our policies should carry," said GSIS president and general manager Robert Vergara.

Given this, GSIS said educational planholders may only receive 60% to 70% of their money, at least for now.

Vergara earlier said that the pension fund's education plan problem is bigger than the housing loan mess.

GSIS stopped selling the education plans 4 years ago because the products were not priced correctly.