BANGUED, Abra – The Personal Equity and Savings Option (PESO) Fund of the Social Security System (SSS) is the most attractive, accessible and affordable savings option for the working Filipinos.
SSS-Bangued Branch Manager Edward Urua said the SSS-PESO Fund is a voluntary provident fund offered exclusively to SSS members in addition to the regular SSS program. The PESO is offered to all employees, self-employed and voluntary members of the SSS as well as Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW).
The SSS-PESO Fund as an investment is an option for SSS members to save their excess earnings and build a secure future. The contributions are placed in sovereign guaranteed investment and the earnings and benefits derived from the SSS-PESO are guaranteed and tax-free, Urua explained.
Members qualified to participate in the SSS-PESO Fund must be below 55 years of age; have paid contributions in the regular SSS program for at least six consecutive months within the 12-month period immediately prior to the month of enrollment; must be paying the maximum amount of contributions under the regular SSS program; and must not have filed any final claim under the regular SSS program.
Membership to the SSS-PESO Fund is easy and simple. Interested and qualified SSS members can enroll in the program over-the-counter at any SSS Branch. Members are allowed a maximum contribution of P100,000.00 per annum and a minimum of P1,000 per contribution.
There are three types of accounts where the SSS-PESO Fund is allocated for each member. These are the retirement/total disability account, medical account and general purpose account. The account for general purpose is used for education, housing, livelihood and unemployment. The earnings of the SSS-PESO Fund are based rates on the Treasury Bond rates. The accounts are allocated as follows: retirement/total disability account is 65% with guaranteed earnings based on the 5-year Treasury Bond rates; the medical account is given 25% allocation with guaranteed earnings based on 364-daqy Treasury Bill rates; while the general purpose account is given the remaining 10% allocation with guaranteed earnings also based on the 364-day T-Bill rates.
The SSS-PESO Funds however cannot be withdrawn specifically the retirement/total disability account because this is saved for retirement purposes which is withdrawn upon filing of final claim. The member may opt to receive this in monthly pension, lump sum or a combination of both. Death benefits shall be paid in lump sum to the beneficiaries of the member.
Withdrawals from the fund is allowed only for medical (25%) and general purpose (10%).
By:Maria Teresa B. Beñas