By Genalyn Kabiling
President Rodrigo Duterte is unlikely to defer the planned increase in the premium contribution of Social Security System members as some senators proposed.
The president remains firm in his decision to raise both pension and premiums after a careful study on the matter, presidential communications secretary Martin Andanar said.
“The president has carefully weighed both sides to solve the SSS impasse and he has already made a decision,” Andanar said.
He added the increase in the SSS pension effective this quarter would be financed by current contributions and investment income.
The planned 1.5-percent increase in contributions in May 2017, on the other hand, will be used to improve the SSS investment reserve fund, Andanar said, noting that this would generate higher yields for investments and further strengthen the pension fund’s overall viability to meet future obligations.
Senator Joel Villanueva earlier called on the SSS board to postpone the increase in premiums and instead improve its collection efforts.
Senator Franklin Drilon, for his part, said while he commended the president’s decision to grant the SSS pension hike, it should not be used to justify an increase in premium payment.
Drilon said the social security law prohibits the pension fund from increasing benefits of pensioners that would require increasing contributions of its members.