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Here are six simple steps to maximize membership with SSS and to ensure on-time processing of claims and to qualify for loan privileges at all times.
1. Make sure that your records are correct. Birth certificate issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is the primary document for claims processing. Make sure that your full name and date of birth in the birth certificate are the same with your SSS records. Age, for example, is a qualifying condition for retirement, so discrepancy in date of birth may cause delay in processing of pension.
If there is a discrepancy or a change in your marital status, fill-up a Member Data Change Request Form (SSS E-4) and submit it together with supporting documents to the nearest SSS office for correction. Members should also check their records in the My.SSS portal found in the web site (www.sss.gov.ph).
2. Update your list of beneficiaries. Got
married? Had a new kid? Make sure that you accomplish and file the Member Data
Change Request Form and submit this together with the corresponding PSA-issued
marriage, birth certificates. By doing so, you prevent any delay in processing
of claims, especially death/
The SS law provides a hierarchy of beneficiaries. Primary beneficiaries are the legal spouse and/or dependent minor legitimate, illegitimate, and legitimated minor children. Secondary beneficiaries are parents of the deceased member. Designated beneficiaries are declared beneficiaries of the deceased member based on SSS Form E-1 and E-4.
What complicates processing of death benefits are those with multiple partners. Dependent children below 21 years of age are entitled to death benefits regardless of legitimacy. There are countless cases wherein the legal dependent spouse and the dependent children from another relationship receive the monthly pension.
3. Make sure that you only have one SS number. If you have multiple SS numbers, submit a request for cancellation of multiple SS numbers at any SSS branch. SSS will consolidate all records and contributions in one SS number. This takes time, so it is important to check your membership records now.
4. Pay your SSS loans. Unpaid loans incur penalties. If the member’s employer fails to remit a loan payment to SSS, the member must submit an Affidavit or Sinumpaang Salaysay to file a formal complaint against his employer. If the loan payments are not yet posted in the system, the member can request for a copy of salary loan collection list from his employer as proof of loan payments deducted from his salary and remitted to SSS.
5. Monitor contribution payments of employers. Non-remittance of employees’ SSS contributions is a violation of the SS law and those convicted shall pay fines and may be imprisoned from six years and one day to 12 years. Register to My.SSS found in the SSS web site to see your SSS records anytime, anywhere.
6. Membership does not expire. Once a member, always a member. Many overseas Filipino workers were active members of the pension fund when they were locally employed but often wonder where their past contributions went. Contributions to SSS are intact and a member can always continue paying premiums at any time.
Nowadays, it is easy to check records with SSS. Once registered to My.SSS portal in the web site, a member can download the SSS mobile app on his mobile phone. When visiting the branch, Self-Service Express Terminals are available to check personal records so there is no need to talk to a frontline staff. For simple transactions like asking for loan application status, Text SSS is available.
Members should be vigilant in keeping their records with SSS accurate and updated at all times. This is the only way that one can maximize membership to the pension fund and enjoy its seven benefits and loan privileges.
Aurora C. Ignacio is SSS president and chief executive officer.
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