SSS spokesman Joel Palacios said the year-end disbursement was seven percent more than the P8.15 billion released in December 2008.
"We released the funds to our partner banks two weeks before December, and we requested them to allow members to withdraw within the first week of the month," Palacios said.
About P8.59 billion or 98.61 percent of the disbursements were coursed through the Mag-Impok sa Bangko (MSB) Program, which facilitates monthly pension releases to ATM accounts of pensioners. SSS also mailed a total of P103.17 million in checks to almost 20,000 pensioners.
SSS provides monthly pensions for partial and total disability, retirement and death. Regular pensions are released depending on the contingency date, meaning a member who retired on July 23 would get SSS retirement pensions every 23rd day of the month.
Palacios said the Philippine National Bank, which accounts for 35 percent or 501,736 of the 1.41 million pensioners enrolled in the MSB program, made the 13th month pensions available for withdrawal since December 1.
"The Philippine Savings Bank, Land Bank of the Philippines and Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company also informed us that they would credit the 13th month pensions on December 1, 3 and 4, respectively," he said, adding that the three banks cover nearly 340,000 pensioners.
A total of P4.72 billion, which made up over half of pension disbursements for December 2009, went to retirement pensioners. Death pensions totaled P3.63 billion and disability pensions amounted to P345.51 million.