MANILA, Philippines - The Social Security System (SSS) said it is accepting enrollment applications for the its Personal Equity and Savings Option (SSS-PESO) Fund program.
The SSS-PESO is described as a provident fund scheme, which aims to boost savings among SSS members, especially for their retirement.
"They can participate for an initial contribution of P1,000 with succeeding contributions of at least P1,000, in multiples of P100. An SSS-PESO member can contribute up to a maximum P100,000 per year," SSS Vice President for Benefits Administration Division Agnes San Jose said in a statement.
The SSS-PESO program is open to all members who are 54 years old and below, and have at least six consecutive contributions under the SSS regular program within the last 12 months prior to enrollment.
The member’s effective date of membership begins in the month a contribution is first made to the SSS-PESO fund.
Interested members may apply at several SSS branches in the NCR for the pilot implementation of the SSS-PESO Fund. These branches are located in Diliman, Cubao, San Francisco Del Monte, Pasig-Shaw, Mandaluyong, Taguig, Makati-Gil Puyat, Alabang, Legarda, Pasay-Roxas Boulevard.
SSS members have to personally appear before an SSS authorized representative to sign the accomplished forms to verify the authenticity of the document and applicant's identity.
The SSS said all SSS branches nationwide will begin to accept applications for the fund by September 2015. There are plans to allow online enrollment in the future.
Under the guidelines, employed members, regardless of the amount of their current monthly contributions, may join the SSS-PESO Fund. However, self-employed, voluntary and OFW members should be paying the maximum SSS contribution to be able to contribute in the SSS-PESO Fund.
The member also has to make a corresponding SSS contribution on the month he/she will make contributions to the SSS-PESO Fund account.
The guidelines also state that any refunds, withdrawals or benefit claims will be credited to the member’s single savings or current account with an SSS depository bank.
The early termination of membership is not allowed.
San Jose said the SSS-PESO Fund contributions are invested in government securities.
SSS-PESO Fund savings are allocated to three accounts -- retirement, medical, and general purpose (education, housing, livelihood, and unemployment). However, only the portions allotted for medical and general purpose can be withdrawn before the member’s date of retirement.
The SSS said a corresponding management fee will be charged for each SSS-PESO account while penalties will be charged for any withdrawals made before the fifth year of membership in the SSS-PESO Fund.
SSS-PESO Fund members may also receive additional earnings depending on the actual income of the fund at the end of each year.