GSIS recommends to Duterte P1,000 hike in month pensions

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By Melissa Luz T. Lopez, Senior Reporter

THE Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) has recommended a P1,000 increase in the monthly pensions paid to retirees, it announced Friday.

In a statement, the state-run pension fund for government employees said it proposed to President Rodrigo R. Duterte to hike basic pensions for retired and persons with disability (PWD) members to P6,000 from the present P5,000 minimum rate.

GSIS President and General Manager Jesus Clint O. Aranas said its board of trustees has already approved the proposal which will cover 67,201 pensioners, but will not require higher member contributions.

“It should be noted that GSIS is recommending a pension hike that will not necessitate an increase in the monthly contribution of our members nor bring about adverse effects in the actuarial life of the pension fund,” Mr. Aranas was quoted as saying.

This is in contrast to the Social Security System (SSS), which is awaiting the implementation of higher contribution rates for its members to prolong its fund life. The pension firm for private sector employees recently secured the authority to raise the rate every other year to 12% this year and 15% by 2025 from 11% currently, as provided under the newly-signed Social Security Act of 2018.

The SSS is counting on these higher contributions to extend the fund life to 2038, six years longer than the current 2032, following the P1,000 across-the-board increase in monthly pensions which took effect in 2017. Another P1,000 increase is on deck, although resigned SSS president Emmanuel F. Dooc said they want to see a longer fund life before they implement this pension hike.

Meanwhile, GSIS sees its fund life lasting until 2051.

If approved, this would follow the 1.5% pension increase for GSIS beneficiaries that took effect in January, which is annual raise provided by their charter. Monthly pension rates may be adjusted through the recommendation of the GSIS head and as approved by the President of the Philippines.

The pension hike is proposed to take effect February, and will be paid retroactively.

Mr. Aranas clarified that those receiving GSIS pensions on behalf of members who have passed away will not be entitled to the pension hike.

Average monthly pensions now stand at P12,560, the GSIS said.