Be open with investment earnings, losses, SSS urged | Inquirer Opinion

Be open with investment earnings, losses, SSS urged

/ 12:01 AM August 13, 2015

Makati Acting Mayor Kid Peña vowed to double the pension of the city’s senior citizens (“Peña: ‘I only stopped abuse of power’,” Inquirer.net, 7/13/15). Wow! How I wish I were a resident of Makati City.

Anyway, I hope that the Social Security System officials got to read this news report. Inquirer.net reported that the House of Representatives had approved a P2,000-across-the-board increase in the monthly pension of all pensioners (“House approves SSS pension hike bill,” 6/22/15). The bill is now in the Senate for approval. Hopefully the President signs the bill into law before he steps down from office.

The reaction of the SSS to this P2,000-increase is to again increase the monthly contribution of the members.

It was only recently that I came to know how really small my monthly SSS pension is after my younger sister in the United States asked me about it. I answered, less than $100. She was surprised and asked me how I could live with that amount. I didn’t reply, she already knew the answer.

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The SSS keeps on harping about its goal to extend its fund life to perpetuity (about 20 years). Actuarial valuation and sustainability are the commonly recurring words we hear from the SSS.

The SSS reported that the past across-the-board pension hikes placed considerable strain on the fund. Blame game. How about the millions of bonuses and allowances paid SSS officials annually? Do they not also adversely affect the fund? The Commission on Audit ordered the SSS officials who got excessive bonuses and allowances to return the unauthorized payments. To date, I am unaware of any of these officials having heeded the order.

Since most of the SSS assets are in the form of investments, we, the SSS members, want to know whether these are yielding satisfactory earnings and whether there are investment losses. Better still for transparency, SSS should publish its comparative income statement.

—BERNARDO V. PERALTA, retired accounting professor, Cebu City

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TAGS: Kid Peña, pension, Social Security System

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