STATE pension fund managers announced last Thursday that they will release a total of 33.09 billion pesos (nearly $588 million at current exchange rates) into the system when benefits are paid to their respective retirees next week.
Social Security System (SSS) President and CEO Michael G. Regino said the pension fund for private employees (approximately 29.74 billion pesos) receives their 13th month and December pension from the first week of the month.
The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), on the other hand, announced it will be giving out a total of P3.35 billion in Christmas gifts to more than 328,000 old-age and disability retirees.
“Alam nam namin ang Christmas cash gift are there hinintay talaga of GSIS renters at ito amapapagpapasaya sa kanila ngayong Pasko. Kaya simula December 6, na-credit na sa e-card nila ang canilang cash gift and pwede na nilang i-draw,” President and General Manager Jose Arnulfo A. Veloso was quoted as saying in a statement. [We know our GSIS pensioners are really waiting for the Christmas cash gift and this will make them happy this Christmas. So starting December 6, their cash gift has been credited to their ecard and they can now withdraw it.]
According to Regino, they were also pushing for the early accrual of pensions for Month 13 and December 2022 this year “so that our retirees can collect them before the holiday rush.”
The SSS chief said the fund manager released the first set of pensions for retirees with contingency dates between the first and 15th of the month.
The second batch, on the other hand, is scheduled to be released on December 4 and will cover retirees with emergency appointments between the 16th and the last day of the month.
As December 4th falls on a Sunday, retirees who receive their pensions on this date can expect their pensions to be credited to their accounts by the last working day before, December 2nd.
Regino said the SSS has asked its accredited non-PESONet banks to release the pensions to their SSS retiree customers by December 4 at the latest. He added they also had the Philippine Postal Corp. asked to expedite the delivery of their pensioners’ checks in this way to receive their pension.
“Since December 1988, we have given our retirees the 13th month’s pension equal to their monthly pension,” Regino said. “With this additional financial support or Christmas gift, we would like to thank them for their support of the SSS during their years of service.”
Pensioners eligible to receive the 13th month pension are SS old-age pensioners, SS and worker’s compensation survivors, and full disability pensioners, including partial disability pensioners, with a pension duration of at least 12 months.
UNDER Veloso, GSIS pensioners will receive an amount equal to their 1 month pension, up to a maximum of P10,000.
Retirement and disability pensioners are eligible to receive the Christmas bonus under the following laws and ordinances: Republic Act (RA) 8291 (GSIS Act of 1997); Presidential Decree 1146 (Revised GSIS Act of 1977); and RA 660 (“Magic 87”) who are receiving their regular monthly pensions and living on November 30, 2022.
Specifically, according to GSIS, these are retirees who claimed the 5-year flat-rate benefit and resumed their regular monthly pensions after December 31, 2021 (after the 5-year deadline). Also eligible are members who retired from service between 2006 and 2022 before age 60, received their regular monthly pension beginning in 2018, and have been a regular retiree for at least five years, according to the GSIS.
Retirement and disability pensioners who are on hold as of December 31, 2022 due to non-compliance with the Annual Pensioners Information Revalidation (APIR) will also receive their cash gift upon reactivation.
However, the following are excluded from the cash grant: pensioners who have used the 5-year capital but will receive their regular monthly pension after December 31, 2022; survivors and dependent pensioners; Pensioners who have retired under RA 7699 (Portability Act); and those receiving a prorated pension.
New retirees from 2018 to 2022 who have claimed the 18-month cash payment of their monthly base and immediate pension under RA 8291 will not receive their cash payment until five years after they retire.