SSS: Contribution hike needed for expanded maternity benefits


Posted at Oct 01 2018 11:13 PM

MANILA - The Social Security System on Monday said it would need an additional P4 billion to P5 billion a year to fund the proposed expansion of maternity leave benefits. 

The pension fund said that it currently is already facing difficulty covering the benefits of members, and estimates that the funding the expanded maternity benefits would require a 0.3 percent to 0.4 percent hike in the contribution rate. 

A Congressional bicameral conference approved on Monday the final version of a bill proposing to provide 105 days of paid maternity leave credits to all working mothers.

SSS president Emmanuel Dooc said that while the pension fund can still cover members' benefits, the institution would be put in a difficult situation. 

"We are in a precarious condition na po," Dooc said, explaining that recent calamities also weighed on the pension fund, which needed to give out loans to affected members. 

Dooc added that the P1,000 additional benefit to retirees, which was implemented last year, had already cost the fund P33.5 billion. 

This was the first tranche of a P2,000 hike in SSS pension benefits promised by President Rodrigo Duterte when he was still running for President.

A second P1,000 increase in pension benefits next year would drain the funds of the SSS within 7 years, the pension fund warned earlier. 

The SSS earlier called on Duterte to issue an executive order hiking the contribution rate to 14 percent from 11 percent to extend the life of the fund, and cover the proposed hike in retirement benefits.