No need to hike SSS members' contributions - Recto

by Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 29 2013 03:42 PM | Updated as of Jan 29 2013 11:42 PM

MANILA, Philippines - An increase in the pension of senior citizens under the Social Security System (SSS) won't require a hike in members' contributions, Sen. Ralph Recto said on Tuesday.

In a hearing on bills seeking to increase senior citizens' pension, Recto, chair of the committee on government corporations and public enterprises, said the SSS has enough money to implement the measure if ever it is passed.

He noted that the SSS has P314 billion in reserve funds and earned P25 billion annually in the last two years, based on its financial statements.

The senator was skeptical when SSS officials told him they may run out of money if they increase pensions without asking for more contributions from members.

"It depends on how you invest the money. If you invest it properly then you could earn more money to pay for the pensions, hindi lang galing sa contributions," Recto told reporters after the hearing.

One of the bills increases the current monthly pension of P1,200 (for those with 10 years of service) and P2,400 (for those with 20 years of service) to a minimum of P3,000, which will be raised by P500 annually until it reaches P5,000.

Recto pointed out that the SSS has some 10 million members supporting around 1.6 million pensioners.

He said this is why it is important to maintain a young population - a point he made against the reproductive health law when it was still being debated in Congress.

"The idea is to have a young population. 'Pag dumating ang araw na you have an aging population, how will you pay your pension for senior citizens kung walang mga batang nagtratrabaho?" said Recto.