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The state-run Social Security System (SSS) on Tuesday said more than 1.5 million retiree-pensioners as of August 2019 may now loan up to P200,000 under the enhanced Pension Loan Program (PLP).
SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora C. Ignacio said the enhanced guidelines on PLP which is pursuant to Social Security Commission (SSC) Resolution No. 429-s.2019 aimed to provide adequate financial assistance to qualified retiree pensioners.
“As we celebrate the Elderly Filipino Week, we would like to inform our pensioners the good news about PLP. They can now borrow up to 12 times their basic monthly pension plus the additional P1,000 benefit. SSS branches are now accepting PLP applications from qualified retiree-pensioners,” Ignacio said.
“We want our pensioners to know that we value them as one of our key stakeholders in recognition of their support to SSS during their prime, wherein their monthly contributions were the lifeline of the pension fund then,” she added.
Under SSS Office Order 2019-004-b, the PLP now grants a higher loanable amount or up to 12 times of the basic monthly pension plus the P1,000 additional benefit of the retiree pensioner, longer payment terms and wider range for the age qualification.
Qualified under the new guidelines are retiree pensioners who are 85 years old and below at the end of the loan repayment term if they have no outstanding loan balance, or benefit overpayment payable to SSS from his monthly pension. He must also have no existing advance pension under the SSS calamity package and must be receiving his regular monthly pension for at least one month and has an “active” pension status.
Moreover, the enhanced PLP guidelines also gave the pension loan borrower a wider option to choose from his loanable amount. From the previous minimum loanable amount of twice his basic monthly pension (BMP) plus the P1,000 additional benefit, the pensioner borrower may now loan up to three times, six times, nine times or 12 times of his BMP plus the P1,000 additional benefit.
The repayment term was also adjusted so that they have the option to pay their loan in six, 12 or24 months with the first monthly amortization to be due on the second month after the loan is granted.
“We enhanced the PLP rules to provide qualified SSS pensioners with a higher loanable amount at a longer payment term and discouraging them from transacting with loan organizations which charge steep interest rates. We hope that more pensioners will be encouraged to avail of this loan as this only incurs an interest rate of 10 percent per annum,” Ignacio said.
To recall, SSS implemented the PLP last September 2018 in response to the clamor of senior citizens to prevent the growing incidence of pensioners falling victims to loan sharks and help them with their short-term needs and has so far released 59,224 pension loans amounting to P1.4 billion as of September 30, 2019.
Based on the loan term, 0.8 percent of the pensioner-borrowers preferred the three-month term, 5.88 percent for six months, and 93.32 percent for 12 months as of end-September 2019.
“In January, we have already eased our guidelines, wherein those who are receiving their monthly pension even for just a month and is already posted in the System is already qualified to avail of the SSS pension loan. We continuously develop programs to help alleviate the financial problems of our members,” Ignacio said.
SSS also allowed the presentation of other government-issued identification cards aside from the Social Security Card or Unified Multi-Purpose Identification (UMID) card as a form of identification.