THE Social Security Service (SSS) said on Thursday that its requirement for pensioners report annually their continued receipt of payouts is not burdensome for recipients, contrary to claims made in a House resolution filed by the Bayan Muna party-list.

“We want to remind our Honorable party-list lawmakers that ACOP (Annual Confirmation of Pensioners Program) was implemented in 2004 to ensure the continuous payment of benefits to the rightful pensioners in accordance with the Social Security Law,” SSS Vice-President Fernando F. Nicolas said in an e-mail. “It should not be perceived as a burden to pensioners but a significant measure to safeguard the SSS funds and ensure that rightful recipients will continue to receive their monthly pensions.”

Last week, members of Bayan Muna filed House Resolution No. 2504, which urges the House of Representatives to conduct an investigation into the re-implementation of ACOP by the SSS.

Most pensioners residing in the Philippines are exempt from complying with ACOP, while those receiving total disability benefits, survivorship benefits, and those living overseas must report annually to the SSS via online channels and other methods not requiring face-to-face contacts until March 31, Mr. Nicolas said.

“Since Oct. 30, 2017, we have been conducting various verification procedures to confirm whether they still qualify to receive their monthly pensions,” he added.

He said that the SSS is always looking out for the safety of the pensioners, which is why it adopted safer ways to confirm their continued receipt of pensions that do not require them to visit an SSS office.

Mr. Nicolas urged pensioners to send their ACOP documents through e-mail, to the overseas office nearest them, or via courier mail.

He also said that the SSS may be reached through Microsoft Teams and social media. — Jaspearl Emerald G. Tan