BREAKING NEWS!

Real-life stories on SSS retirement benefit

After a year hiatus, SSS is back to update you on our different programs and services. For the past few months, I have been consistently receiving queries from our readers about the various SSS programs. Most notably is about the Retirement Benefit which came from my family members, closest friends, and acquaintances.

Since mobility restrictions were eased up and seniors are now allowed to go out from their houses, members flock in SSS branches to inquire about their eligibility status to apply for retirement benefit. While SSS has already implemented the online application for such benefit, some of our seniors still prefer face-to-face transaction.

We have E-Centers inside our branches where we can assist those who find the technology challenging while others prefer to transact online after we thoroughly explainto them the procedure.

Qualified to submit their Retirement Benefit application online are the following: all employed and self-employed members who are 60 to 64 years old and separated from work and or any businesses; land-based Overseas Filipino Workers; Voluntary members who are at least 60 years old at the time of filing of claim; and all members, regardless of membership category who are at least 65 years old at the time of filing of claim.

However, all retired surface and underground miners, horse jockeys, those who have minor kids (21 years old and below) and applying for guardianship are required to submit their applications over the counter.

SSS Retirement Benefit is a cash allowance paid to a member who can no longer work due to old age and has reached the optional retirement age of 60 or 65 for technical retirement. I would like to put an emphasis on the phrase “can no longer work” since applicants tend to forget this specific qualification. To cite an example, if a 62-year-old member still works or owns a business, he/she may either (1) retire from work or divest themselves from the business and claim their SSS retirement benefit or (2) forego his/her retirement benefit application for the meantime, continue to work or manage the business until they reach the age of 65 years old.

Atty. Leo, a friend of mine, cannot file his retirement benefit application yet because he’s still active in the academe at the age of 64. Likewise, our family friend, Dr. Mike, cannot file his retirement application yet as he is still enjoying tending to his patients despite of his age at 63.

Surface and underground mineworkers, according to Republic Act 10757 or an act reducing their optional retirement age to 50 and technical retirement age to 60 years old, get to enjoy their SSS retirement benefit at a much younger age. This is why Manong Fred, a former mineworkerwhom I met on a speaking engagement in Benguet, is now enjoying his retirement benefit for almost three years already.

Meanwhile, racehorse jockeys’ technical retirement age is pegged at 55 years old pursuant to RA 10789.

As to the contribution requirements, a member should have paid at least 120 monthly contributions prior to semester of contingency to qualify for a monthly pension. Contingency refers to the date of retirement which includes the following instances: Date of separation from employment if already 60 to 64 years old, 60th birthday if voluntary or self-employed member, 65th birthday regardless of the status of employment, and month after the semester of the 120th contribution.

Applicants with less than 120 monthly contributions may opt to file for retirement lumpsum or continue paying as a voluntary member until they have reached the required 120th monthly contribution.

My friend Aika, whose 67-year-old mom owns a business, chose to continue to pay her SSS contribution since she has only eight months left to complete the 120-month contribution requirement for retirement pension.

Our friendly neighbor, Manang Dolor, asked me on how SSS arrives on the pension amount she is currently receiving. I told her that the amount of monthly retirement pension depends on three factors: the number and amount of monthly contributions paid by the member, credited years of service, and the number of dependent minor children, if there is any.

Two weeks ago, I was invited to give a talk about the SSS Retirement Benefit program to an NGO located in the city. Some of them were already retired and will soon apply for SSS retirement benefit, while others are about to retire soon. I saw the excitement in their faces while addressing their questions and clarifications. They are looking forward to enjoy life after decades of hard work and SSS is here to support them in this new chapter.

These are the stories of the people whom I know and met as far as their SSS Retirement Benefit is concerned. I hope that their experiences and queries are somehow similar to some. Otherwise, the doors of SSS branches nationwide are always open for all members to cater them.

For inquiries and or suggestions for topics, you may e-mail me at [email protected]

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