GSIS seeks clarification on proposed military pension fund reform

Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 24 2023 03:38 PM

President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. leads the change of command ceremony and retirement honors for Philippine National Police chief, P/Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr., at the PNP Headquarters in Camp Crame in Quezon City on April 24, 2023. Rey Baniquet, PNA/Handout/File

MANILA — The Government Service Insurance System said Wednesday it was hoping for more clarity on a proposal to reform the pension scheme of military and uniformed personnel.

According to GSIS president and general manager Jose Arnulfo Veloso, the measure needs to iron out on whether the state pension fund will be managing the funds.

Should the GSIS be tasked to handle the funds, he said they would need fresh financial infusion from the government.

"Kung kami po magma-manage ng pondo na ito, hindi po namin imi-mix 'yung pondo ng ating government employees with the military and uniformed personnel," Veloso told ANC's "Headstart".

(If we will manage these funds, we would not mix the money of our government employees with the military and uniformed personnel.)

"There should be no co-mingling of funds and we will require infusion of fresh funds from the national government to be able to address this."

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno has described the current military pension system as a "big drain to the national budget."

According to Diokno, the government is estimated to spend P848.39 billion annually for the next 20 years to finance the current pension system.

"Talagang unsustainable kaya nga po napunta ito sa diskusyon at ang atin pong secretary of finance is concerned about this primarily because of the amount that is being culled from the national budget and they're not thinking of the current ones but the future," Veloso said.

(It is really unsustainable, which is why our discussion went this way and our secretary of finance is concerned.) 

President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. is pushing for reform on the pension scheme, Diokno has said.

Under the current scheme, the pension of retired personnel increases by 100 percent when the "salary of the incumbent [personnel] is doubled".

Uniformed personnel who have rendered at least 20 years of active service could also opt for an optional retirement. This means that those who enter the service at 20 years old could be eligible for pension in their 40s.

According to Diokno, the average monthly pension of a military personnel is around P40,000.

The pension scheme for uniformed personnel covers the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine National Police, Philippine Public Safety College, Coast Guard, and Bureau of Corrections. 

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