The Social Security System (SSS) recorded a net revenue of P38.3 billion last year, up by six percent from P36.2 billion in 2012, on the back of strong contribution collections alongside steady investment earnings and improved efficiency in operations and benefit disbursements.

Based on initial SSS figures for 2013, contribution collections reached P103.1 billion in 2013, nine percent higher than the P94.2 billion total in 2012, and it marked the first time the year-end total surpassed the P100-billion level.

“The increase in collections was bolstered by ongoing campaigns to promote the value of active SSS membership, improved monitoring of employer compliance and intensified coverage drives spanning a wide range of sectors, including the hard-to-reach informal sector and overseas Filipino workers,” said May Catherine Ciriaco, SSS Vice President of Management Services and Planning.

The total SSS revenue of P137.4 billion, 75 percent of which come from contributions, showed an increase of seven percent from P128.1 billion in 2012. Annual net revenue averaged P31 billion from 2010 to 2013, higher by P23 billion from the net revenue yearly average of P8 billion from 2000 to 2009.

Total expenditures – comprised of operating expenses and benefit payments – rose by eight percent to P99.1 billion. Operating expenses dropped by one percent to P7.6 billion as a result of steps taken by management to maximize SSS resources and promote systemwide prudent spending.

“Operating efficiency, or the ratio between operating expenses and members contributions and investment and other income less benefit payments, further improved to 17 percent in 2013, as compared with 18 percent in 2012 and 23 percent in 2011,” Ciriaco said. “Moreover, operating expenses represent only 57 percent of the allowed charter limit. This means we are spending way below our allowed margin.”

Benefit payments, which account for 92 percent of total expenditures, reached P91.4 billion, nine percent higher than P84.2 billion in 2012. The surplus of contribution collections over benefit payments, a vital indicator of current SSS financial viability, stood at P11.7 billion in 2013, surpassing year-end surpluses of P10 billion in 2012 and P3.2 billion in 2011.

SSS kept up its regular monitoring of pension releases thru the Annual Confirmation of Pensioners (ACOP), a program that protects the fund from fraudulent claims by requiring pensioners to present themselves to SSS or to their depository bank on the member’s birth month to prove their continued eligibility for pension.

“With the ACOP, SSS continues to clean up its database of non-eligible pensioners to prevent the release of undeserved benefits,” Ciriaco said. “Last year, we found out that a total of 4,331 pensioners are no longer eligible for pension due to reasons such as death, remarriage or recovery from total disability, and this translates to recurring SSS savings of about P12 million every month.”

SSS investment and other income totaled P34.3 billion, about P400 million higher than the P33.9-billion earnings in 2012, while SSS assets rose to P384.6 billion as of end-2013, up by P21.8 billion or six percent from P362.8 billion as of end-2012. SSS assets also showed a growth of over P100 billion within a span of four years, as compared with the P272.6 billion SSS asset level as of end-2009.

“While investment income was relatively flat, our investment yield of 8.7 percent is still higher than comparative benchmark yields such as the three percent inflation rate, 0.7 percent 364-day Treasury bill rate, four percent rate of 10-year T-bonds, and the 0.5 percent Philippine Stock Exchange Index, despite the current low-interest environment and volatility in the financial market,” Ciriaco said.

The SSS also noted the expanding coverage of its AlkanSSSya Program, a microsavings scheme for the social protection of informal sector workers. As of 2013, the program covered over 57,220 members from 568 informal sector groups, bringing economically-vulnerable workers from various industries across the country within SSS’ reach.

SSS inked agreements last year with key organizations, including the PNP Supervisory Office for Security and Investigative Agency for SSS coverage of employees of security agencies, Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers – Quezon City Chapter for self-employed civil engineers, and the Insurance Commission for self-employed insurance agents, brokers and underwriters.

The pension fund also partnered with 12 microfinance institutions, cooperatives and other organized groups nationwide, including the grant of SSS’ accreditation of collecting and servicing partner agents, to bring social protection closer to their members.

“Following the enactment of the Kasambahay Law, the number of SSS-registered household employers reached 285,205 while covered domestic workers totaled 96,705 by the end of 2013. And with the rollout of the Kasambahay Unified Registration System by SSS, Pag-IBIG and PhilHealth, more household workers will gain access to social protection from these three agencies,” Ciriaco said.

In terms of member services, the total number of SSS Website enrollees rose to 2.9 million as of end-2013, with 804,492 members and 91,056 employers opening their own online accounts last year. SSS Website transactions likewise soared to 1.98 million in 2013, from only a total of 509,380 in 2012.

“The SSS also continues to set up E-Centers in branches using available equipment such as desktop computers, telephones and information kiosks. These E-Centers aim to encourage members to shift from manual to electronic transactions using our self-service facilities such as the SSS Website, information kiosks, Interactive Voice Response System and Text-SSS,” Ciriaco added.

In response to the call for assistance, SSS launched Calamity Relief Packages for members affected by the Zamboanga siege, Bohol earthquake and Supertyphoon Yolanda in 2013. About P339 million were released to 19,700 members under the Salary Loan Early Renewal Program, while advance pensions of three to six months were disbursed to 7,623 pensioners in the declared calamity areas.

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