Third District Rep. Arthur Yap expects the House Committee on Government Enterprises and Privatization to come out soon with recommendations on his bill seeking to provide for the automatic adjustment of the basic monthly pensions of retirees both covered by SSS and the GSIS based on the prevailing cost of living index as determined by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
Yap passed House Bill 4940 in September last year, aiming â€œto ensure that retirees will be able to sustain their needs and live a decent life in the twilight stage of their livesâ€.
â€œWhile existing laws allow for adjustments to be made on the basic monthly pensions, experience has shown that such adjustments often lag behind the much faster increases in the rate of inflation resulting to the erosion of the real values of the pensions received by the retirees. This situation, if unabated will defeat the very purpose of the security system as well as of the policies and objectives of the law,â€ Yap pointed out in the billâ€™s explanatory note.
Yap also recognized that a good retirement and pension plan has been regarded as â€œwise investmentâ€ in preparation for oneâ€™s twilight years.
â€œEvery worker has to think of his security when the time comes that he has to retire from work, whether compulsorily or voluntarily. It is a future contingent event that a worker or employee has to consider and plan for at the earliest possible time,â€ according to Yap.
In fact, it is in recognition of this need of workers and employees that the â€œlaw has mandated the State, in partnership with employers, to provide for viable social security systems for both private employees and workers in the public sectorâ€.
On this, the Social Security System (SSS) for private employees and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) for government workers have been established.
Yap cited that SSS currently has 1.9 million retired members, while the GSIS has roughly 250,000 active pensioners all over the country.
He said that under both security systems, workers contribute regular premiums during their period of employment and with counterpart share from their respective employers.
â€œThese contributions entitle them to benefits as members under the system, in particular, to specific pension plans at the time of their retirement. Varying amounts of pension are then given to pensioners on a monthly basis depending on the total amount of their contributions,â€ Yap added.