STATE-RUN Social Security System (SSS) made it easier for its more than 1.2 million qualified retiree pensioners to apply for the Pension Loan Program. It now allows retiree pensioners with at least one month posted regular pension and an active pension status to avail of the loan program.
SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel F. Dooc said the pension fund continues to find ways to help pensioners in sufficing their short-term financial needs.
Previously, a retiree pensioner must be receiving his monthly pension for at least six months to qualify for the SSS pension loan. But through our new issuance, even if they are receiving their regular monthly pension for only just a month and it is already posted in the system, they are already qualified to avail themselves of the pension loan, Dooc explained.
Further, the new guidelines for PLP applications allow the use of other government-issued identifications cards aside from the Social Security Card or Unified Multi-Purpose Identification (UMID) card as a form of identification document.
Loan applicants can now present their: Alien Certificate of Registration issued by Bureau of immigration; Drivers License issued by Land Transportation Office; Firearm Registration, License to Own and Process Firearms, and Permit to Carry Firearms Outside of Residence from the Philippine National Police; National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Clearance; Passport; Postal Identity Card, Seafarers Identification and Record Book (Seamans Book); and Voters ID Card.
In absence of a primary ID Card/document, filer shall present, submit any two valid ID cards/documents, both with signature and at least one with photo, the circular read.
The SSS pension loan was offered to pensioners starting September 2018, in line with the celebration of SSS 61st anniversary. The program is in response to the clamor of senior citizens to put an end to the growing incidence of pensioners falling victims to loan institutions that charge steep interest rates, and to help them with their short-term needs like emergency medical expenses.
As of February 28, SSS has released P638.33 million in pension loans to qualified pensioners. Of the 166 SSS branches receiving PLP applications, Bacolod branch has the most number of approved PLP applications with 1,982 amounting to more than P41.53 million. Diliman branch, on the other, released the highest amount of pension loans amounting to P41.80 million for the same period.
Among the top five branches with the most number of approved PLP applications were Victorias branch in Bacolod with 1,472 approved applications for a total release of P31.02 million; Cebu branch, 1,096 approved applications worth P27.20 million; and Bago branch, 1,002 approved applications worth P21.06 million.
We hope that our pensioners opt to avail of the SSS pension loan in times of emergency expenses. Aside from the low-interest rate, we also make sure that they will still receive a portion of their monthly pension so that not all of it goes to loan repayment which is the case when they borrow from loan sharks, Dooc said.
The loanable amount may not be as huge as compared to what other lending institutions may be offering, but the amount can help them meet their short-term financial needs such as emergency medical expenses, he added.