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MANILA, Philippines - State-run Social Security System (SSS) grew its earnings by 12 percent last year on the back of improved collections, lower expenses and greater use of IT.
"The bottom-line is that 2011 was another landmark year for the SSS in terms of financial performance and service delivery," Emilio de Quiros, Jr., president of the state-run pension fund for private-sector workers, said in a statement.
"Year-end net revenue of P25.5 billion is 12 percent higher than the P22.8 billion net income in 2010. Our moves towards more electronic and Internet-based transactions also resulted in more efficiency and better service to our members," he said.
Contribution collections reached P86 billion, an increase of 8.4 percent from the P77 billion in 2010, after SSS expanded the range of payment deadlines for contributions and loan remittances. The fund also embarked on an OFW information campaign in the second half of last year, particularly in the Middle East and Europe.
De Quiros said the fund concluded bilateral social security agreements with Denmark and Japan.
SSS benefits payments increased seven percent to P76 billion from P71 billion in 2010, with the bulk of last year's payments for retirement and death.
"It is worth noting that contribution collections outpaced benefit payments by P3.2 billion – the highest recorded since 2002. This is in step with our objectives of continually building up the Investment Reserve Fund and lengthening the actuarial life of the Social Security fund," de Quiros said.
Notwithstanding a low-interest rate regime, investment income rose 7.2 percent to P30 billion last year from P28 billion in 2010.
Part of its investment income came from the penalty condonation program the SSS offered to its employer-members for unremitted loan amortizations of their employees.
The six-month condonation program, which ended in June 2011, resulted in the collection of about P1.08 billion worth of delinquency payments from 13,776 employers.
The SSS likewise showed significant improvements in its service delivery on account of upgrades in its information technology infrastructure and by enabling electronic or Internet-based transactions.
Also implemented were the enhanced Text-SSS facility, the mandatory electronic submission of collection lists by employers, and the direct crediting of sickness and maternity reimbursements to employers' bank accounts instead of mailed checks.
"As of year-end 2011, the SSS website had a total of 1.4 million registered users, of which 410,000 are employees and over 6,900 are employers. The rest are voluntary and self-employed members, household helpers, OFWs, and pensioners," de Quiros said.
"The SSS was able to achieve all these performance milestones without incurring large operating expenses. In fact, our 2011 [operating expenses] totaled P7.5 billion, which was only 67 percent of our Charter limit and the lowest incurred in the past ten years," he said.
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