SSS' share in stimulus fund a good investment: Neri

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 26 2009 01:55 PM | Updated as of Jan 27 2009 06:36 PM

The Social Security System (SSS) said Monday its planned P12.5 billion cash infusion into the government's P300 billion economic stimulus package would be a good investment.

In an interview with ABS-CBN, SSS president Romulo Neri said that just like government bonds, the contribution could yield high returns, which would be used to pay for pensioners' benefits.

"If the government can borrow from us for infrastructure projects at a good fixed-income rate and it can be a guaranteed loan instrument, then it can be a good investment for us," explained Neri.

"It's just like investing in treasury bills and notes," he added.

Reacting to statements made by an alliance of public and private workers, ProFund, which slammed the use of pension funds for the financial stimulus, Neri said: "They should study the operations of SSS and other agencies like the GSIS first. Our function is to invest contributions of pension fund members in various financial instruments. The income from these investments is what we use to pay for claims."

ProFund and several opposition lawmakers earlier said that instead of using state pension funds for the economic stimulus, these should be disbursed as loans and assistance to workers that have been laid off due to the global economic crisis.

Government financial institutions and state-owned corporations were asked by the government to cough up P100 billion for the stimulus package to help pump-prime the economy and create jobs. The other P200 billion would be taken out of the P1.4 trillion national budget.