SSS maintains P26B deficit based on up-to-date data
This is in reaction to Eduardo Alicias Jr.’s response to our letter (“SSS’ estimates inconsistent, thus can’t be all true,” Opinion, 2/24/16).
If those cited by Alicias in his article (“‘SSS to go bankrupt’: Ghost of paranoia,” Talk of the Town, 1/24/16) were block quotes, then why is there no proper attribution of the original source? Good writing dictates proper attribution any time when using someone else’s words so that readers can retrace the source of information. We found out that instead of giving due credit to the actual writers who deduced that information, Alicias attributed those quotes on a “subsequent clarification” that was allegedly issued by Malacañang.
We advise Alicias to read again the news item to which he is referring to see that the P10-billion deficit is only an assumption made by the original writers based on our financial statements in the 2014 SSS annual report. It was not from Malacañang and much less from SSS.
Having said all these, we maintain that it is not true that the deficit will only be P10 billion. The correct calculation revealed a P26-billion net revenue loss as shown in the table appearing in our first letter (“Flawed calculation of SSS income and expenditure,” Opinion, 2/15/16).
Moreover, the projected P4-billion deficit that was originally presented by SSS to the Senate in 2015 was computed based on SSS’ financial status in 2014, which was considered a banner year for the agency. The estimated deficit is lower given the favorable investment environment in 2014 and the number of pensioners we only had that time. The latest projection of P26 billion is based on up-to-date data.
SSS has been posting a growing contribution surplus since 2012, which means that members’ contributions are more than enough to pay for benefits and spend for the fund’s operations. In 2015, we recorded a surplus of P11.2 billion. But this amount will still leave SSS P16 billion short to offset the projected deficit. Without other sources of funding, SSS will be constrained to draw from and use its Investment Reserve Fund to pay for future benefit obligations. Consequently, SSS fund life will be shortened by 13 years, from 2042 to 2029 as an actuarial study shows.
Also, even if SSS collected the P13.5 billion loan delinquency that was reported by the Commission on Audit in 2014, it would not be enough as this is just 24 percent of the P56 billion needed to pay for the additional benefits in 2016 alone.
—MARISSU G. BUGANTE, vice president, public affairs and special events division, Social Security System
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