SSS Retirement Claims Reach P156 Billion

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The Social Security System (SSS) disbursed nearly P157 billion in retirement benefits to 2.2 million members in 2023, making it the most sought-after benefit package offered by the agency. According to Joy Villacorta, the Vice President for Benefits Administration Division at SSS, retirement benefits accounted for 47 percent of the 4.7 million benefits distributed to pensioners, members, and their beneficiaries in 2023.

The P156.7 billion in retirement benefits given to 2.2 million payees in 2023 represents a 10.7 percent increase compared to the P141.5 billion provided to over 2 million payees in 2022. The majority of these payees, amounting to 87.46 percent of the total, are pensioners, as stated by Villacorta.

Retirement benefits are cash benefits granted by the SSS to members who can no longer work due to old age. Members who have contributed at least 120 monthly payments are eligible to receive a lifetime monthly pension, while those with fewer than 120 monthly contributions will receive a one-time lump sum amount.

Death benefits rank second in terms of disbursement, with a total release of P70.1 billion to 1.4 million beneficiaries in 2023, slightly lower than the P70.2 billion given to 1.3 million beneficiaries in 2022. SSS provides cash benefits to the beneficiaries of deceased members. If a deceased member has made 36 monthly contributions, their beneficiaries are entitled to a monthly pension. On the other hand, beneficiaries of members with less than 36 monthly contributions will receive a one-time lump sum amount.

Maternity benefits follow closely, with a disbursement of P14.1 billion to 357,000 members in 2023, reflecting a 9.6 percent increase from the P12.9 billion disbursed in 2022. Female members who have paid at least three monthly contributions in the 12 months before childbirth, miscarriage, or emergency termination of pregnancy can avail of the maternity benefit. This benefit has been provided since March 2019, in accordance with the Expanded Maternity Leave Law (EMLL).

Disability benefits rank fourth, with P7.5 billion released to over 130,000 members in 2023, marking a 16.3 percent increase from the P6.4 billion disbursed in 2022. Members who become partially or totally disabled are eligible to receive a monthly pension or lump sum amount. Those who have contributed at least 36 monthly payments qualify for a monthly disability pension, while members with fewer than 36 monthly contributions receive a lump sum amount.

Funeral benefits amount to P4.8 billion, reimbursed to 211,000 payees, and sickness benefits total P3.2 billion, provided to 376,000 members. SSS grants funeral benefits to individuals who have paid for the funeral expenses of the deceased member. Claimants of deceased members with 36 or more monthly contributions may receive a variable amount between P20,000 and P60,000, depending on the number and value of contributions made by the member. For members who have contributed less than 36 monthly payments, the funeral benefit is fixed at P12,000.

Sickness benefits are daily cash allowances paid to members for the number of days they are unable to work due to sickness or injury.

Unemployment benefits had the lowest utilization rate in 2023, with a total disbursement of P914.1 million to 64,000 members, down by 4.9 percent from the P961.4 million released to 75,000 members in 2022. This decrease reflects the improving labor market, with the unemployment rate reaching its lowest levels in the previous year.

In total, the SSS disbursed P257.4 billion in benefit payments in 2023, representing a 6.9 percent increase from the P240.6 billion disbursed in 2022.

These figures highlight the significant role of the Social Security System in providing financial support to its members and their beneficiaries in various stages of life. Whether it’s retirement, death, maternity, disability, funeral, sickness, or unemployment, the SSS ensures that its members receive the necessary benefits to secure their well-being.

Source: The Manila Times

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