MANILA – Social Security System (SSS) will continue to expand its operations overseas to provide services to Filipinos abroad.
The state-run SSS currently has 20 offices in Asia, Middle East and Europe, three of which were recently opened in Toronto, Tokyo and Muscat.
“We will continue to expand our foreign operations to provide our members abroad with immediate access to social security. Next year, we will be deploying additional personnel in our offices overseas to assist our members,” said SSS senior vice president and international operations head Judy Frances See.
See added that SSS will continue to conduct outreach activities for the Filipino communities abroad.
The SSS offices abroad, which are located in Philippine Embassies or Consulates, accept applications for membership, benefits and loans; and performs data capture for Unified Multi-purpose ID.
The offices in Asia are located in Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Taipei, Brunei, Kuala Lumpur while SSS offices in Europe are in London, and in Rome and Milan in Italy.
Middle East offices are in Riyadh, Jeddah and Al Khobar in Saudi Arabia; Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates; and in Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain.
The monthly contribution to SSS is based on the monthly earnings declared at the time of registration.
Members who are overseas Filipino workers (OFW) pay the full 11 percent of the Monthly Salary Credit (MSC), the minimum of which is pegged at P5,000 or monthly contribution of P550. Contributions can be paid through accredited collection partners abroad.
SSS advises OFWs to remit contributions based on the maximum MSC of P16,000 since SSS benefits are computed based on the number of contributions paid and the member's MSC.
The Philippines has bilateral agreements on social security with Austria, Canada and Quebec, France, United Kingdom, Belgium, Switzerland and Spain.
Meanwhile, agreements with Denmark, Portugal and Germany have been signed and are awaiting completion of the ratification process. The agreements ensure payment of social security benefits to migrant workers through “totalization” and export of benefits.
Totalization means that Filipinos who split career time between the Philippines and these countries will be able to combine their coverage periods in both countries to meet eligibility requirements for social security pension in either or both countries.
A worker will also continue to receive benefits wherever the worker decides to reside in as long as the social security agreement is in effect in the country.
SSS said bilateral discussions with Japan, Korea, Israel, Sweden and Luxembourg are currently being pursued.