Econ team improves MUP pension proposals after initial consultations; PNP talks next on agenda

The economic team has made adjustments to improve the current proposals for the military and uniformed personnel (MUP) pension reform after its initial consultations with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine Air Force (PAF), and Presidential Security Group (PSG).

Department of Finance (DOF) Undersecretary Maria Luwalhati Dorotan Tiuseco presented the economic team’s latest proposal during the dialogue with the AFP Health Service Command (HSC) on June 2, 2023, which was attended by around 150 on-site participants and almost 100 virtual participants.

Under the enhanced proposal, MUPs who avail of optional retirement are given the prerogative to choose among three options in claiming pension benefits. The options are as follows:

Option 1: Receive all pension benefits* in one lump sum upon retirement

Option 2: 60 months advance*, then payment of monthly pension benefits will kick in after 5 years

Option 3: Receive pension benefits at age 57

The new options were proposed in consideration of varying financial situations among MUPs and will be applied on a case-to-case basis.

DOF Undersecretary Maria Cielo D. Magno assured MUPs that the economic team has been given the directive to study the current pension systems of other government branches enjoying similar pension benefits, amidst pension sustainability concerns.

Command Sergeant Major Wilfredo S. Morales thanked the economic team for a productive discussion, saying, “Maraming maraming salamat po sa magandang talakayan. Nalinawan kaming mga enlisted personnel…alam ko po na marami na magpupull out ng kanilang mga retirement paper dahil sa magandang proposal.”

Thank you very much for the wonderful discussion. We, enlisted personnel, were enlightened…I know that many will pull out their retirement papers because of this good proposal.

Prior to the HSC, the economic team held a dialogue with the PSG on May 26, 2023 at Malacañang Park, wherein around 120 members gathered on-site while around 100 participated virtually.

Members were given the platform to openly express their views and concerns on the proposal.

In his closing remarks, Brigadier General Ramon P. Zagala acknowledged President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s resolve to face the problem squarely and encouraged the MUPs to be open to the reform.

“Let us help our community, [and the] government…so that there is a middle ground on how we can continue with our privilege but also help our community,” he said.

After four (4) dialogues with the military, the economic team is scheduled to meet with uniformed personnel, starting with the Philippine National Police (PNP) on June 7, 2023 at Camp Crame, Quezon City.

The economic team will continue to gather sentiments of the MUPs and introduce necessary improvements to the proposal in order to craft a well-balanced solution.

*Net present value of pension benefits