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Monday, August 18, 2008

SSS benefit payments hit P33B in 1st half

Social Security System released a total of P33.41 billion for members’ benefits during the first half of the year, which was 16 percent more than the P28.80 billion it disbursed for the same period in 2007, a top official said.
SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Romulo Neri said nearly half of the total, or P16.0 billion, went to retirement benefits which increased by 18 percent from P13.54 billion in 2007.
“SSS has been working hard to remain financially viable so we can continually make benefits more meaningful and available to more members,” he said.
Payments for retirement, death, maternity and sickness posted double- digit increases during the first six months of 2008. Retirement and death claims made up 84 percent of the total disbursements for the period.
Death claims, which like retirement and disability benefits are paid in lump sum or as monthly pension, increased by 16 percent to P12.08 billion from P10.38 billion last year.
Maternity benefits rose by 18 percent to P1.67 billion from P1.41 billion, and sickness claims grew by 11 percent to P869.44 million from P782.89 million. The SSS grants maternity and sickness benefits to eligible members who are temporarily unable to work due to illness
or pregnancy.
The institution, which would be celebrating its 51st anniversary on September 1, disbursed 7 percent more for funeral benefits amounting to P1.14 billion this year from P1.07 billion in 2007.
Neri said the SSS also paid 3 percent more for disability benefits, which totaled P1.64 billion from P1.59 billion last year.
“We urge members to pay contributions regularly to qualify for our benefits in times of financial contingencies,” he said. “Members who pay more contributions are entitled to higher SSS benefits.”

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