The SSS Performance Per My Own Experience

In the past couple of days, the Social Security System (SSS) was having bad news for granting bonuses of PhP1.0M for each member of its Board of Directors and PhP276M for its regular employees. SSS President Emil de Quiros defended the bonuses by saying these were given pursuant to the performance-based incentive system with last year’s profitability as the primary reason for granting such bonanza to its officers and employees. The bad news resulted to howls of protests by the labor sector and concerned citizens due to what they called as irresponsible and immoral decision of SSS Board of Directors to enrich themselves with the members’ contributions.

In a news article the other day, a legislator said that profits cannot be the sole measure of SSS performance. He added that the SSS performance  must be measured by how well the pensioners and its other members get the benefits due them and how their needs are met, and not just by how much profit the agency has made. He denounced the SSS board for the P1 million bonus each of its directors got, saying it was insensitive as the service the state-run pension fund provides to its members leaves much to be desired.

As a new SSS pensioner who got the first portion of my retirement benefit after seven (7) months of numerous personal follow-ups, each time wasting 2 to 3 hours because of the long queues, I witnessed how inefficient is the agency in providing services to its members. All the time that I was at SSS-Marikina office, I saw the hardship in complying with the requirements and heard the complaints of members filing their claims for retirement, loan and medical benefits. The same is true for dependents of dead members claiming the burial and death benefits due to them.

My sufferings did not end with the release of the small lump sum of my SSS retirement benefit last July. While my claim was in process, I filed in May 28, 2013 a request for manual verification and correction of the amount of my pension for the contributions I had in 1985 t0 1989. Honestly, I wonder why such contributions cannot be included without requesting for it when, in fact, those are recorded in the SSS computer system.

Never mind that inefficiency or intended partial omission of a member’s benefit by the agency. My complaint is why nothing happened to my request up to now, almost five (5) months after I filed it. Do I need to know someone in SSS for them to act on my request and pay what’s due to me? Maybe yes, because the SSS personnel I talked in the personal follow-up I made the other day encouraged me to seek help if I know someone up in their organization.

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