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SSS urges seafarers to aim 10 years of contributions for lifetime pension benefits

May 13 ------ State-run Social Security System (SSS) is urging seafarers to aim for a minimum of 10 years' worth of monthly contributions in order to qualify for a lifelong monthly pension after retirement. 


Rolando Ledesma Macasaet, SSS president and chief executive officer, said that seafarers are entitled to retirement benefits and a range of other benefits, including sickness, maternity, disability, unemployment, funeral, and death benefits. “Contributing to the SSS is one way of investing in their future,” Macasaet said, noting that they can also take advantage of various SSS loan programs. 


These include salary and calamity and getting additional coverage from the Employees’ Compensation (EC) Program for work-related sickness or injury resulting in disability or death. “Since seafarers are contributing to the regular SSS program with a Monthly Salary Credit (MSC) that exceeds P20,000, they are automatically enrolled in the Workers’ Investment and Savings Program (WISP),” he said. 


Under this compulsory provident fund scheme, he said each contributing member will have an account wherein SSS will place their contributions and investment earnings. Members pay their WISP contributions together with their regular SSS contributions. He added that seafarers would get their total contributions and investment income at the time of their retirement, which they may opt to receive as a monthly annuity if their WISP savings exceed P100,000. “Seafarers can receive it as a lump sum if their contributions and investment income are less than P100,000. If it is P100,000 or more, they can receive it as combination of lump sum and monthly pension or a fixed monthly annuity which will be released together with their regular monthly pension,” he said. 


Likewise, Macasaet urged seafarers to consider their financial future and save their hard-earned money in WISP Plus, the SSS voluntary retirement savings program. He highlighted this as an additional benefit, giving seafarers the power to choose and plan for their retirement, in addition to the retirement pension from the regular social security program and annuity from the WISP. Macasaet explained that members can contribute as little as P500 per payment whenever they want to receive this additional layer of social security protection. He noted the members’ pooled contributions under WISP Plus would generate investment earnings, which would be credited to their individual accounts tax-free. 




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