Reservations on lower retirement age

February 07, 2019

LAWMAKERS should heed the concerns of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) before they pass a law that lowers the optional retirement age for government employees

GSIS expressed its reservations on lowering the optional retirement age for government employees from 60 to 56. Such as the proposed under Bill No. 8683.

“Our main concern on the lowering of retirement age for government employees stems from the results of our actuarial study that it will reduce the financial life of the social insurance fund by 12 years,”  GSIS President and General Manager Jesus Clint Aranas said.

“With a  shorter actuarial life, GSIS  will ultimately be forced to effect possible  adjustments such as putting into play a mix of benefit decreases or an increase in premium contribution or even both in order to mitigate the risk of being underfunded,” Aranas added.

According to him, the fund life of GSIS,  if the lowering of the retirement age will push through, will be shortened by 12 years and depleted by 2039, from the current fund life of 2051.

“The shorter actuarial life will be a result of the decreased period of contributions of members that will spell lower collection but longer period of benefits’ payment,” he said.

He also warned that the proposal would increase the burden of current actively paying members particularly in light of longer life expectancy.

Lawmakers should take note of this.

Aside from lawmakers, developers in Baguio should understand the wisdom behind the move of GSIS to  preserve the lone tree park in Baguio city. The GSIS said it  will neither sell the land where the park stands nor allow it to be  converted into a commercial area by any party.

Aranas gave the assurance in response to the sentiments of a grade 6 student at the Baguio Pines Family Learning Center to save the  Tree Park near the Baguio Convention Center and University of the Philippines, after rumors came out that a condotel or carpark building will be constructed there.

“We empathize with Alcina Flores and other students concerned. They can heave a sigh of relief because the GSIS property will remain to be the home of these beautiful trees,” Aranas  said.

“We all share the same concern for the environment. If we are responsible stewards of God’s gifts, then we will surely reap the rewards such as having cool, clean, and fresh air,” he added.  “In fact,  GSIS employees helped plant trees in the park, too.”

Aranas is optimistic that the negotiations with the city government of Baguio to purchase the lot on which the park sits will finally come to a fruitful resolution. Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan earlier offered to buy the lot so it can definitively preserve the park.

“I hope that the good Mayor would understand that the value of a property appreciates over time. In any decision, investment or otherwise, we have to ensure that this will help grow our funds to benefit  our members and pensioners” Aranas said.

Caring for the environment is one of GSIS’s corporate social responsibility programs. Every year, GSIS holds tree-planting activities as part of the National Greening Program.  In particular,  GSIS has adopted a 50-hectare planting site at Barangay Balagbag, San Jose  Del Monte City, Bulacan where 25,360 fruit-bearing saplings have been planted.

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