THE Social Security System’s (SSS) Workers’ Investment and Savings Program (WISP) contributions jumped in 2023 to P79.51 billion from the P20.4 billion it collected from the previous year.
In a statement issued by the Department of Finance (DOF) last Thursday, the total member savings collection amounted to P79.51 billion from more than 6 million members.
The WISP covers the private-sector employees, self-employed individuals, overseas workers, and voluntary members who have no final claim and have contributions to the regular SSS program, and have a monthly salary credit that exceeds P20,000.
“This safe, convenient, and tax-free individual retirement savings plan allows members to invest and earn returns from their contributions, embodying the core principle of ‘Work, Save, Invest, and Prosper,’” the DOF was quoted in the statement as saying. The WISP is a mandatory provident fund scheme that serves as another savings for private-sector workers and other individual paying members of the SSS, the statement explained.
Apart from that, contributions for WISP are paid together with the regular SSS contributions. Members of WISP are also entitled to disability and death benefits, as well as a retirement fund in addition to those provided by the regular SSS program, according to the statement.
In December 2022, the SSS launched the WISP Plus, which is a voluntary retirement savings program offered exclusively to SSS members.
WISP Plus serves as an “additional layer of support” apart from regular retirement benefits.
Contributions to the WISP Plus amounted to P391.63 million which it collected from more than 30,000 members as of December 2023.
As of November 2023, the actual investment portfolios of WISP and WISP Plus totaled PHP 1.41 billion and PHP 76.34 billion, respectively. WISP’s annualized return on investment was 5.33 percent, whereas WISP Plus’s was 6.87 percent.
Through the law, the powers and responsibilities of the Social Security Commission (SSC) were “rationalized and broadened” in order to guarantee the SSS’s long-term sustainability and improve its ability to adapt to the changing needs of its stakeholders.
The statement added that the law ensured that all employees including domestic workers, overseas Filipino workers, as well as those self-employed, are included in the SSS pension system for their protection in case of disability, sickness, maternity, old age, death, and other contingencies that may result in financial loss or burden.