THE SOCIAL Security System (SSS) on Monday launched the Pension Loan Program (PLP), allowing 1.3 million retiree pensioners to borrow funds.
In an event in Quezon City, SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel F. Dooc unveiled the PLP that aims to shield its pensioners from loan institutions that offer steep interest rates, helping them with their short-term needs such as emergency medical expenses.
“[T]he launch of this program is our way of extending our assistance to our dear pensioners,” Mr. Dooc was quoted as saying in a statement.
Borrowers who wish to avail of the program must be between 55 and 80 years old at the end of the month of loan term and have no outstanding loan balance and benefit overpayment payable to the SSS.
The retiree must also have no advance pensions under the SSS Calamity Package and have been receiving regular monthly pension payouts for at least six months.
Qualified pensioners can borrow from two to six times the amount of their monthly pension plus the additional P1,000 benefit.
The loan will carry a 10% interest rate per annum. It can be paid in three, six or 12 months depending on the multiple of the loan amount. It will be deducted from the monthly pension of the borrower.
Although the SSS will not charge any service fee such as the usual 1% charged for all loan applications, Mr. Dooc said the borrower is required to pay a loan insurance fee through a one-time deduction from the proceeds of the loan.
“This will secure both the pensioner borrower and his beneficiaries and the SSS should there be an untoward incident that will happen to the borrower during the repayment period.”
For the pilot launch of the program, the SSS made the loans available at 20 branches, allotting some P10 billion as possible loan exposure.
“Initially, we have allotted only P10 billion depending on the utilization rate. We are willing to increase it to P30 billion,” Mr. Dooc added.
Branches in Diliman, Kalookan, Pasig-Pioneer (Shaw), New Panaderos (Mandaluyong), Manila, Makati-Gil Puyat, Alabang, Naga, Dagupan, Baguio, Ilagan, Bacoor, Biñan, Cebu, Tacloban, Iloilo Central, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, General Santos and Zamboanga started to accept PLP applications yesterday.
“Our pensioners need not to worry if PLP is not yet available in SSS branches nearest them because they may apply in the first 20 branches,” Mr. Dooc said, adding that the pension fund plans to conduct the pilot stage of the loan program for a month.
To apply for the pension loan, retirees must visit the branch with their Social Security Card, Unified Multi-Purpose Identification Card or any two valid identification cards.
Upon submission of requirements, the SSS will verify the information and the loan will be credited to the pensioner’s bank account. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal