SSS’ response to letter on ‘redundant tasks’
This is in response to Rudy Coronel’s letter titled, “Laughable ‘Acop’ shows SSS loves redundant, burdensome tasks” (Opinion, 3/17/16).
We would like to clarify that the Annual Confirmation of Pensioners (Acop) program aims to ensure that only rightful beneficiaries receive Social Security System pensions by requiring pensioners to undergo Acop once a year.
As caretakers of the pension fund, we must be prudent in managing the disbursement of benefit payments. Acop prevents the unauthorized release of pensions to noneligible beneficiaries. Under the law, pensions are stopped when the member dies, recovers from disability or becomes reemployed if below age 65, or when the surviving spouse remarries.
In 2015, Acop enabled the SSS to cancel 20,980 pension accounts amounting to P1.3 billion. The stricter implementation of Acop also resulted in the suspension of 75,055 pension accounts due to the pensioners’ noncompliance with the program, which serves as a stern warning to those who attempt to claim benefits that are not due to them.
To help our pensioners comply with Acop, we provided several options. They can personally visit either their depository bank or the nearest SSS branch and submit the duly accomplished Acop form. For pensioners who cannot personally appear, they can submit their documents through an authorized representative or send their documents through mail.
Pensioners who are under confinement or unable to walk due to medical conditions, can request a home visit by SSS representatives from the nearest SSS branch or through e-mail at email@example.com.
Meanwhile, pensioners based abroad must mail the Acop form and copies of two valid IDs issued by the host country to the Members Relations Department or OFW Contact Center Unit. The pensioner may also submit a Certificate of Appearance issued by the Philippine Consulate in lieu of IDs.
We also made it easier for our pensioners to remember their Acop month. We changed the Acop schedule from contingency month to the birth month of the SSS member. For survivor pensioners, the Acop schedule is in the birth month of the deceased SSS member.
Rest assured that we will continue to improve our processes to better serve our members.
—MARISSU G. BUGANTE, vice president, Public Affairs and Special Events Division, Social Security System
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