Retirees’ appeal: Let change come to GSIS
LED BY its board chair Evangelo Savellano and yours truly, the GSIS Retirees’ Association Inc., organized by retired Government Service Insurance System officers and employees, would like to suggest to newly installed President Duterte and his administration several fundamental and urgent reforms aimed at making the GSIS more efficient and responsive to the needs of its members.
1. The abolition of the GSIS’ premium-based policy. GSIS premiums are paid by GSIS members through compulsory payroll deduction. If the concerned agency does not remit the premiums of its employees to the GSIS, the latter is, by law, duty-bound to collect the premiums; but it is the employees who are penalized with the deduction of the unremitted premiums from their retirement benefits. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, have been illegally penalized thus, because of this policy, even though the nonremittance was the fault of both the GSIS and the agency concerned, not of the employee. If this policy is not abolished, the poor retirees who suffered from the deductions will never be able to get a corresponding, just refund.
2. A ban on outright deduction of COA (Commission on Audit) disallowances from retirement benefits and other GSIS benefits, pursuant to the state policy, law and established jurisprudence which prohibit deductions from retirement benefits;
3. The grant of reasonable pension to optional retirees under Republic Act No. 1616;
4. The grant of burial benefits to optional retirees who retired below age 60;
5. The appointment to the GSIS board of more genuine representatives of GSIS members, to be selected by the members themselves;
6. The retroactive implementation of the suspended-but-now-restored survivorship benefit in favor of those deprived of this benefit during its suspension;
7. The abolition of the GSIS practice requiring retirees to execute an authorization allowing deduction from their retirement benefits;
8. The exemption of GSIS members from the payment of court docket fees in connection with claims filed to recover GSIS benefits and other monetary benefits from the GSIS.
—ALFREDO D. PINEDA, president, GSIS Retirees’ Association Inc., 10 Road 16, Barangay Bahay Toro, Project 8, Quezon City
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