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Phil. Gov’t disburses P7.2-B for 13th month pensions

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Philippine Government through the Social Security System (SSS) announced the release of a total of P7.2 billion for this year’s 13th month pensions which SSS pensioners would receive in time for the Christmas season. SSS Officer-in-Charge of Benefits Administration Division Normita M. Doctor said SSS pensioners under the Social Security (SS) and Employees’ Compensation (EC) programs, except those covered for partial disability whose pension duration is less than 12 months, are entitled to the 13th month benefit. Recipients of dependents’ pensions, such as the minor children of pensioners, will also receive a corresponding 13th month benefit.
“Along with the early release of 13th month pensions, by the end of this year pensioners will also get their regular monthly pension for December in accordance with their contingency date.
For instance, a pensioner who retired on July 19 will get his retirement pension for the month on December 19,” she said. Doctor said the agency released the funds and checks for 13th month pensions to its partner banks and to the postal office, respectively, as early as November 14 so that pensioners can get their additional year-end benefits directly at their personal bank accounts or through checks sent via registered mail.
“Patterned after the 13th month pay given to workers in time for Christmas, the SSS 13th month pension is equal to the regular monthly benefit received by SSS pensioners. We are happy to continue granting this extra benefit, which is a cherished yearly tradition of SSS that started back in 1988,” she said. SSS requested its partner banks to release the 13th month benefit ahead of the disbursement schedule for the regular December pensions. It also asked the Philippine post office to prioritize the delivery of the 13th month pension checks so that SSS pensioners will enjoy their cash benefits before Christmas.
“The duration of check delivery depends on the recipient’s mailing address. Usually, it takes three to five days for Metro Manila and nearby areas, five to eight days for faraway Luzon provinces, and eight to 10 days for Visayas and Mindanao,” Doctor said. Over 99 percent of more than two million SSS pensioners are registered under the SSS Pension Payment thru-the-bank Program, which offers them a faster means of receiving their monthly cash benefit through direct disbursement to their designated bank account. “Meanwhile, less than one percent of SSS pensioners, typically those who reside in far-flung areas, requested SSS to instead send their regular and 13th month pensions as mailed checks due to certain conditions such as the lack of automated teller machines in their immediate vicinity,” she said.
About 1.2 million retirement pensioners under the SS Program accounted for 63 percent or P4.5 billion of the total 13th month SSS pension disbursements for this year. SSS also disbursed P2.4 billion for SS and EC death pensions and P224.5 million for SS and EC disability pensions. The pension fund recently welcomed its newly-appointed President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel F. Dooc, who served as Insurance Commissioner prior to his current role in SSS.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.