SSS allowing itself to be cheated big-time?
IN HIS Inquirer column last Jan. 22, (“SSS stonewalls on pension increase veto,” Opinion), Amando Doronila quoted former Social Security System president Corazon de la Paz as saying: “Many SSS members only pay on the basis of the (minimum) income of P1,000. That’s just P100…”
And De la Paz, alas and alack, had the gall to admit that all the while she knew and allowed it?
The formula for finding an SSS retiree’s monthly pension is MP equals CYS times 2 percent of AMSC plus P300 (where MP represents the monthly pension, CYS the credited years of service, and AMSC the average monthly salary credit). One does not have to be as highly educated as De la Paz to realize that, taking the other variables constant, the lower the AMSC—in turn a function of the monthly compensation income—the lower automatically is the MP.
That said, the monthly salary credit (maximum) corresponding to a gross monthly salary income of over P15,750 under the SSS Schedule of Monthly Premium Contributions is P16,000. This is, in turn, subject to a total premium payment of P1,790; that is, P1,209 from the employer and P581 from the employee. Even as De la Paz did not say how many is “many” in her above-quoted statement, the conclusion is certain that the SSS has been throwing away P1,690 in total gross receipts per month for every SSS member who pays on the basis of the minimum income of P1,000.
The speculation is not far-fetched that indeed a considerable number of private-sector employees are being reported to the SSS by their respective employers as earning very much less than their actual salaries. The employers’ ulterior motive is of course quite obvious: to reduce their monthly SSS premium cost exposure. How much this clearly deliberate violation of an otherwise supposedly mandatory regulation has been adversely impacting on the overall operating efficiency of the SSS, probably only De la Paz knows. At any rate, that the SSS has been, wittingly or unwittingly, allowing this violation with apparent impunity smacks of brazen irresponsibility as well as of a monumental breach of the trust reposed upon it by its members.
On the other hand, chances are, some active SSS members may also be aware that their employers have been deducting from their salaries their SSS premium payments that are much lower than what they should. Yet they keep ignoring the matter owing to an equally ulterior motive: to kind of cheat on their monthly salary deduction by making it unduly lower.
Well, so be it! But let not these employees complain should they find out eventually that their monthly pensions are very much lower than desired. At the end of the day, cheating does not pay!
—RUDY L. CORONEL, rudycoronel firstname.lastname@example.org