THE Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) said it will extend to the end of the year a program allowing members to transfer their outstanding loans to the pension fund at easier payment terms.

The loan transfer program has covered over P110 billion worth of loans since its launch in 2018.

In a statement Tuesday, GSIS President and General Manager Rolando L. Macasaet said thee GSIS Financial Assistance Loan (GFAL) program will now run until Dec. 29, 2021 to allow members with loans at other institutions to consolidate and transfer their debt to the GSIS, to avail of longer payment terms and low interest rates.

Last year, the pension fund released P37 billion to 89,947 members to pay down their loans with other institutions and effect the transfer. The program was halted for six months by lockdown and resumed towards the end of August.

Prior to the extension, the application window for the program was to close on Dec. 31, 2020.

“They will also enjoy higher take-home pay and their retirement benefits will be protected from loan deductions while helping GSIS improve its loan collection efficiency,” it said.

GFAL beneficiaries are charged 6% interest with six years to pay.

The program also has a Top-Up loan feature, providing participants the opportunity to take on up to P500,000 worth of debt for personal use.

“If a member’s GFAL loan, for instance is P300,000, he or she may borrow the remaining P200,000 under the Top-Up Loan,” it said.

Permanent government employees with an at least three years of paid premiums to the GSIS or those that have been appointed, elected, or considered non-permanent government employees with at least 15 years of paid premiums, can apply for the program if they have outstanding loans from other lending companies and have no due loans with the GSIS.

“In addition, they should not be on leave without pay; have no pending administrative or criminal case except if the case is due to loan nonpayment due to the prioritization of GSIS payments; and have a net take-home pay that is not lower than the P5,000 requirement under the General Appropriations Act,” it added. — Beatrice M. Laforga