Private employees can heave a sigh of relief.
This is because their pension and other social security benefits have just been guaranteed sufficient coverage over the long term.
They can look forward to a secure retirement and reliable benefits in case of sickness, disability, and death.
Senator Richard J. Gordon expressed elation as President Duterte signed into law the SSS Act of 2019, which will rationalize and expand the powers and duties of the Social Security Commission (SSC) to ensure the long-term viability of the state pension fund.
"This is a very welcome development. The law provides a sound, viable and meaningful social security for the people by inculcating the principle of 'Work, Save, Invest and Prosper,'" the author of the law said.
"This is a landmark law for the SSS. The purpose of this law is to uplift the dignity of our people. Magsa-sacrifice ang mga members ngayon by contributing more but they will enjoy a dignified retirement later on. When they retire, they won't get a pittance. They will retire with a measure of prosperity," he added.
Gordon said the law will strengthen the SSS as an institution, expand its membership base and provide increased benefits to its members and their families.
Salient provisions of the law include providing higher pensions for members by having both a defined benefit feature which will assure workers of a minimum pension regardless of market condition and defined contribution feature (Provident Fund), where workers who are earning more and are saving more can have greater pension for retirement.
It also provides for compulsory coverage for both land and sea-based overseas Filipino workers and for the first time, provide for unemployment insurance that will ensure that workers who lost their jobs will have something to help tide them over while they look for another employment.
The law also allows the SSC to invest, with skill, care, prudence and diligence, revenues of the SSS that are not needed to meet the current administrative and operational expenses in order to grow the fund.
Gordon added that immediately after the passage of the law, SSS shall provide for rules and regulations for a condonation program for employers including kasambahay employers, who have been remiss in remitting contributions to the SSS.
"Our intention here is to collect. We don't want to put employers into jail. We want them to contribute for the welfare of their employees. But if they insist on being delinquent employers after the end of the condonation program, WE WILL NOT HESITATE TO PUT THEM IN JAIL," he assured.