Many Filipino workers contribute monthly to the Social Security System or SSS fund. However, not all of them understand what they can exactly benefit from their contributions, or even how it actually works. The Philippine government mandates this insurance program to cover workers and income earners in the private sector.
Also Read: Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)
Generally, the SSS derives the funds from investment earnings and contributions of its members. A percentage of the funds that aren’t used for benefit disbursements is allotted to a Reserve Fund to cover liabilities incurred in benefit payments intended for more than 29 million members based on the latest statistics.
What is SSS Philippines?
The Philippine Social Security System or SSS is a mandatory contributory social insurance program designed to cover workers such as private employees, seafarers, and Overseas Filipino Workers. For OFWs, the mission is to give them and their families social protection against the hardships and risks while working in another country.
The Social Security Administration is a governmental agency that offers social insurance plan to contributing employees for their health and retirement benefits. As an SSS member, you can apply for disaster and salary loans. For instance, salary loan is computed based on your monthly salary.
On the other hand, you are only entitled to a disaster loan if the calamity that affected your area is included in the declared calamities by the government such as earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters. If you’re a government employee, you don’t need to make monthly SSS payments because you are under the Government Service Insurance System.
How It Works
When it comes to the functions of SSS, this agency is responsible in establishing, developing, and promoting a tax-exempt social security system that meets the needs of members and beneficiaries in the Philippines. In addition, it should also support social justice as well as provide protection to every member and beneficiary against sickness, old age, maternity, disability, and death.
As a government-mandated social insurance service, SSS is for all workers and income earners in the Philippines. SSS members who earn an income are obligated to pay monthly contributions to SSS funds, while the amount depends on their salary. The insurance benefits that members are entitled to include maternity, sickness, retirement, disability, wage loan, and death and funeral.
List of Benefits, Programs, and Services
For the SSS membership benefits, you can benefit from the following:
- Maternity benefit. This daily monetary payout is made to female SSS members who can’t work during pregnancy, or in case of miscarriage.
- Sickness benefit. This monetary payment is also made daily to SSS members who can’t go to work because of an illness or an injury.
- Retirement benefit. This monetary benefit is granted to members who can’t work anymore because of old age. It is paid either in a lump sum or monthly.
- Disability benefit. This is given via a lump sum payment or as a monthly pension to SSS members who become permanently disabled, whether entirely or partially.
- Salary loan benefit. This monetary loan is made to self-employed, working, or volunteer SSS members in order to help them meet their short-term credit needs.
- Death benefit. This monetary reward is given to the deceased family member’s beneficiaries, either in a lump sum or monthly.
- Funeral benefit. This funeral grant of 20,000 is granted to the one who paid for the burial expenses of the deceased member.
Now, what are the programs that SSS provide to its members? As a social security program, SSS serves as the Filipino emigrant’s financial backup whether they are in the Philippines or outside the country.
There are several programs intended for the different needs of the members including health, retirement plan, death, maternity, disability benefits, and more. Some of the most noteworthy SSS programs you can benefit from are the following:
The PESO Fund is intended for providing financial assistance to SSS members in need of money. In 2016, the SSS PESO Fund was launched and became available in January 2017. To qualify for this program, you need to be an SSS member for 5 years while paying monthly premiums regularly.
In terms of benefits, the PESO Fund allows members to get a loan when they need money to buy something, pay off a debt, or any other purposes. You can borrow up to 50,000 pesos under this program, which is equal to the benefits you can receive for a year as an SSS member.
This loan covers up until you’re 65 if you are retired and your pension begins. On the other hand, if you are still working or not yet retired and still covered by the SSS, this loan covers up until you’re 60 when retirement benefits start.
Social Development Fund
This type of SSS loan program is intended for developing facilities and establishing organizations that can offer more affordable healthcare and medical services to SSS members, their dependents, and the public.
The Flexi Fund refers to a mutual fund that SSS members can invest in for up to 100,000 pesos. You can choose from a Systematic Withdrawal Plan, average monthly investment plan, or lump sum investment plan. The SWP will allow you to withdraw money once per quarter, while the average monthly investment plan will require members to pay monthly throughout a 5-year period. The lump sum investment plan, on the other hand, will require members to make an investment at once.
With this type of investment plan, you can enjoy higher return on investment while having flexible terms. This means you can make more money and keep your funds easily accessible and safe. This is even more helpful when it comes to starting something new with enough money on hand or saving up for a huge purchase.
If you decide to invest in the SSS Flexi Fund, there are free services you can benefit from such as the SWP and insurance option. For the SWP, it will allow you to make a withdrawal anytime without incurring any penalty. These additional benefits make SSS investments more convenient and useful for all members.
Video: Know Your SSS and Benefits
In this video, you will understand the meaning of social security and the coverage for members and their beneficiaries. It also tackles the foreign operations and offices of the SSS including the OFW contact services section. Some of the most notable benefits that were mentioned in the video include sickness benefit, maternity benefit, partial disability benefit, and total disability benefit.
As a member, it’s important to learn how the Social Security System works in the Philippines in order to take advantage of its programs and services. Regardless of your membership type, you are covered by the benefits as long as you’re working in the private sector. There are more lessons in the video so you should watch it for some helpful tips.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I enjoy advanced retirement benefits when I retire?
Yes, all you need to do is submit your original retirement claim. Retired SSS members can get their first 18-month’s worth of pension in lump sum. The amount is discounted at a beneficial rate of interest that is determined by the SSS. On the nineteenth month, you’ll start getting your pension and in the next months.
2. Who are covered by the SSS Philippines according to the law?
Generally, income earners and workers in the private sector are covered by SSS such as the employer who pays and uses the services of others in the industry, trade, business, or any endeavor, the worker who is under the age of 60 regardless of his employment status, house helper who is also under the age of 60, and Filipino seafarer who becomes an ER once the standard employment contracts has been signed.
3. When does SSS membership officially starts?
The SSS coverage takes effect depending on the type of membership. For example, the employer will be covered once he hires his first worker, while the worker gets covered on their first day at work.
4. Can I withdraw my SSS membership?
Unfortunately, you can’t withdraw your SSS membership once you are registered and started to make monthly payments. Once you become a member, your membership is valid for life.
5. What if I lost or forgot my SSS number?
In case you lost your SSS number, you can’t get another one. As mentioned, SSS membership is for lifetime, therefore your SSS number stays the same no matter what. The best way to remember a forgotten SSS number is to visit the nearest SSS branch in your area.
The SSS Philippines provides social security coverage to Filipino workers even those abroad. One of its main responsibilities is to provide financial assistance so that members can have a comfortable life, especially during retirement. So, what are the things you’ve learned from this simply guide?
Social Security System Philippines
Address: Ease Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, Metro Manila
Telephone: (632) 8920-6401, (632) 8920–6446 to 55, 1-800-10-2255777
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/SSSPh