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SSS premium hike stays

President Duterte is unlikely to defer the planned increase in the premium contributions of Social Security System members as proposed by some senators.

The President remains firm in his decision to raise both pension and premiums after a careful study on the matter, according to Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar.

“The President has carefully weighed both sides to solve the SSS impasse and he has already made a decision,” Andanar said.

He said the P1,000 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 will be used to improve the Investment Reserve Fund of SSS, Andanar said.

He noted that this would generate higher yields for investments and further strengthen the overall viability of the pension fund to meet future obligations.

Sen. Joel Villanueva had called on the SSS board to postpone the increase in premiums and instead improve their collection efforts. Sen. Franklin Drilon said while he commended the President’s decision to grant the SSS pension hike, it should not be used to justify an increase in premiums.

Drilon said the social security law prohibits pension fund from increasing benefits of pensioners that would require increasing contributions of its members. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)