By Philippine News Agency
The state-run Social Security System (SSS) has reported that its revenues jumped to PHP160 billion as of the end of last November.
In a news release issued Tuesday, the SSS said that based on its unaudited financial statement, revenues for the January to November period last year grew 8.34 percent to PHP160.02 billion on the back of the PHP10.51 billion increase in member contribution and higher investment income.
The recorded end-November 2016 members’ contribution was 8.7 percent higher than the PHP120.77 billion recorded in the same 11-month period in 2015.
Broken down, members’ contribution grew to PHP131.28 billion investments and other income increased to PHP28.74 billion.
“One of our goals for the pension fund this year is to expand our membership. We would also like to retain the current membership number as it comprises more than 82 percent of our total revenue income,” SSS President Emmanuel Dooc said.
Expenditures for the January to November period in 2016, likewise, increased by 18.39 percent to PHP131.06 billion from the PHP110.70 billion recorded in 2015 amid the 25.46 percent increase in disbursements in retirement benefits.
Expenditures for retirement, death and disability stood at PHP72.56 billion, PHP36.21 billion and PHP4.17 billion, respectively. Disbursements for maternity was recorded at PHP4.84 billion and for funeral grant, PHP3.3 billion. Those for sickness stood at PHP2.08 billion; medical services at PHP12.99 million; and rehabilitation services at PHP1.48 million.
Expenses in the January to November 2016 period pulled the net revenue for the 11-month period last year to drop 21.74 percent to PHP28.96 billion from the PHP37 billion the year before.
Meanwhile, as of November 2016, the pension fund’s assets, liabilities and reserves stood at PHP473.63 billion, PHP13.54 billion and PHP460.09 billion, respectively.
Investment level for the period was recorded at PHP456.23 billion as average return of investment stood at 7 percent.
The SSS has been urging Congress to pass its charter amendments to provide the pension fund greater investment flexibility to bolster its generation of needed revenues for granting higher benefits for members.
Social Security Commission (SSC) chairman Dean Amado Valdez said SSS investment capabilities based on the provisions under the Social Security Act of 1997 are limited amid current market trends.
“Aside from expanding our investment portfolio, we seek the amendment of the conservative provisions of the SSS charter, particularly on the investing capacities of the Commission,” he said.
The SSS charter limits the powers of the Commission to invest its reserve fund. At present, SSS could only invest in private securities, housing, real estate, short- and medium-term member loans, government financial institutions and corporations, infrastructure projects, foreign currency denominated investments, and any particular industry that the Commission deems profitable.
The SSS has been pushing for direct capital infusion of the pension funds to tollway constructions under the Private-Public Partnership (PPP) to generate lifetime income, and to provide more meaningful benefits to its members.(PNA)