January 27, 2023

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SSS launches Wisp Plus, its newest member retirement plan

THE Social Security System (SSS) announced that it is launching the Worker’s Investment and Savings Program, or WISP, Plus, its newest retirement savings program for SSS members.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Michael G. Regino explained during a press conference that WISP Plus is a voluntary retirement program offered exclusively to SSS members on top of its regular Social Security program.

“We advanced the concept of work, save, invest and prosper for our members,” Regino said. “WISP Plus is a savings and investment program. It is an affordable and tax-free savings program that allows our members to save and invest through contributions to the program because their money generates income.”

The SSS chief further elaborated that WISP Plus serves as an additional layer of Social Security protection alongside the retirement benefits they receive from the regular SSS program until they retire.

“For just P500 per payment, SSS members can already contribute to WISP Plus and pay their contribution at any time,” Regino said. “We offer our members investment returns based on interest rates that are higher than those offered by banks.”

WISP Plus is intended for all SSS members, regardless of their membership type, declared monthly income and last posted Monthly Salary Credit (MSC).

Easy registration

The current WISP is another provident fund program that is mandatory for SSS members who contribute to the regular program under the MSC that exceeds P20,000. It became mandatory in January 2021 as part of the amendment to the Social Security Act (Republic Act 11199) last year 2018.

Interested SSS members can join WISP Plus by accepting the terms of the program through their My.SSS account. You can only apply once for WISP Plus and membership in the program has no expiration date.

Additionally, they should not have final benefit claims such as retirement or total disability benefits in order to qualify for the program.

Regino added that people who applied for their SS numbers online through the SSS website could easily enroll in the program after receiving their respective SS numbers.

Currently, SSS is already implementing two voluntary provident fund programs – the flexi fund program for overseas Filipino workers residing abroad and the Personal Equity and Savings Option or PESO, a fund offered to members who reside in the Philippines and have the maximum monthly contributions to count. The two programs will eventually be part of WISP Plus.

New contribution rate

Meanwhile, Regino also announced during the briefing that the new SSS contribution rate will be 14 percent from January 1, 2023, a 1 percentage point increase from the current 13 percent. This is part of the implementation of the 2018 Social Security Act and will also benefit SSS members in the form of increased benefits.

For employed members, their employers bear the increase in the contribution rate by 1 percent. On the other hand, individual paying members such as self-employed, volunteer, non-working spouses and OFW members bear the entire contribution rate as they have no employer.

He also noted that SSS would simultaneously adjust the minimum and maximum monthly salary credits (MSCs) that would serve as the basis for a member’s monthly contribution. The MSC minimum will be increased from the current 3,000 PAD to 4,000 PAD, while the MSC maximum will be increased from the current 25,000 PAD to 30,000 PAD.