THE Philippines’ two major pension funds have signed social security arrangements (SSAs) with Germany and Japan to extend benefit coverage to Filipino residents of that country.
In a statement Friday, the Social Security System (SSS) said the Philippines now has SSAs with Germany and Japan, taking effect on June 1 and Aug. 1, respectively.
The bilateral SSAs will be implemented by SSS and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) for the Philippines and their counterpart agencies Deutsche Rentenversicherung and Japan Pension Service.
The SSAs will benefit an estimated 47,214 Filipinos in Germany and another 182,917 in Japan who work or are permanent residents of those countries.
“These bilateral SSAs [are] aimed at reducing or eliminating nationality- and territory-based restrictions on social security,” SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel F. Dooc said in the statement.
Covered persons and their beneficiaries can receive their social benefits regardless of whether they decide to reside in the Philippines, Japan, Germany or even in another country.
“With the bilateral SSAs in place, Filipinos are now entitled to social security benefits under the same conditions applicable to nationals of Germany and Japan and we are looking forward to extend the same protection to more Filipinos working or residing abroad,” Mr. Dooc added.
Under the Philippine Social Security Law, a member must have at least 120 monthly contributions to qualify for a retirement pension.
Without the SSA, members who failed to meet the minimum number of monthly contributions will only get the total contributions paid as well as interest.
But with the arrangements, the “totalization of insurance period” allows the consolidation of contributions made in both countries.
Mr. Dooc also noted that SSS will continue to to pursue SSAs with other countries in collaboration with the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Labor and employment as well as other social security institutions to “promote the welfare of overseas FIlipinos and ensure social security protection in times of contingencies.”
Aside from Germany and Japan, the Philippines has bilateral SSAs with Austria, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Canada, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark and Portugal, covering more than 1.34 million FIlipinos abroad. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal