What higher SSS contribution rate means for members

by Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 09 2013 08:41 PM | Updated as of Oct 10 2013 07:14 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Social Security System has come out with the new contribution schedule reflecting the 0.6% hike in the monthly contribution of members.

From the current 10.4% of the monthly salary, members will have to pay 11% starting January 2014. The 11% will be shouldered by the employee paying 3.63% and the employer shelling out for the remaining 7.37%.

For an employee earning P15,000, the increased contribution beginning January 2014 will be P545 for the employee and P1,105 for employers. But the maximum salary credit will also increase to P16,000/month.

If a member opts to base his contribution on the maximum salary credit, the new contribution rate starting January will be P581.30 for the employee and P1,178.70 for the employer.

For all the self-employed workers and businessmen, they will shoulder everything the employee and the employers share.

For the household helps with an average salary of P2,500, from the current P260, the contribution will now be P275 which will be shouldered by the employer.

Those who have paid in advance like OFW, they will have to adjust or remit more to the SSS cover the increase in rates.

SSS public information chief Susie Bugante said members must think of this as savings rather than additional expense.

"It's really savings, pag-impok yan sa kinabukasan... Lalaki ang babayaran pero tataasan din ang benefit," she said.

Since the creditable monthly salary is raised to P16,000, the sickness, maternity and other benefits will also have to increase as the average daily salary credit will also go up.

For example, from the current P30,000, the maternity benefit for normal delivery will now go up P32,000 once the contribution is raised.

For Caesarean delivery, the current maternity benefit of P36,000 will go up to P38,400.

For the sickness benefit, the current P450/day will go up to P 480/day.

According to Bugante, pension and salary loans may also go up with the increase in contribution but it will still have to go through board approval.

Meanwhile, Employers Confederation of the Philippines president Ed Lacson said the actual increase in contribution is not actually 0.6% but 13% based on the whole amount to be paid by members and employers -- from the current P1,560 to P1,650 or nearly 10% of the previous contribution.

Lacson said they see no problem since the decision to raise rates was approved anyway by Malacanang and ECOP.

But he appealed to the SSS to justify their bonuses by giving quality service to its members. He also asked the SSS to strengthen ways to collect its receivables and unpaid accounts and increase members benefit in the process.