Press Release
August 10, 2007


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. (PDP-Laban) proposed an increase in the monthly pension of retirees from the Social Security System (SSS) to more realistic rates to enable them to meet expenses for basic necessities.

Pimentel said that under the Social Security Act of 1997 (Republic Act 8282), SSS members with at least 10 credited years of service are entitled to a monthly pension of P1,200.00 while those with 20 years of service get P2,400.00.

Saying the existing pension rates are unrealistic, Pimentel said it's about time the government takes steps to relieve the retirees of their hand-to-mouth existence.

"With the spiraling cost of living, especially in the prices of medicines and essential commodities, the amount of monthly pension has been rendered woefully inadequate to meet even the barest needs of SSS pensioners," he said.

He said retirees prior to the effectivity of RA 8282 are even more hard-pressed because their monthly pension is governed by the old Social Security Law (RA 1161) that pays very much less.

Pimentel said his legislative measure seeks to carry out the adjustment through a two-pronged approach:

1. Raising the minimum monthly pension to P3,000.00;

2. Annual increase of P500.00 in the retirement pension until the minimum of P5,000.00 a month is reached.

The Pimentel bill provides that the new monthly pension rates shall be applicable to all SSS members regardless of the effectivity of their retirement.

Pimentel observed that SSS retirees have been clamoring for an upgrading of their monthly pension for the past several years. But this has remained unheeded purportedly because the pension fund could not absorb the huge amount of incremental expenses.

He also said the retirees have complained that they were denied the 10 percent hike in monthly pension traditionally granted during Labor Day in recent years.

Pimentel pointed out that the lowest pension of P5,000.00 proposed for SSS retirees would make it at par with the monthly pension that war veterans receive from the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO).

"The early passage of this bill is thus earnestly urged to provide immediate relief to the countless distressed SSS retirees," he said.

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