IN celebration of its 61st founding anniversary, state-run Social Security System on Monday launched the Pension Loan Program (PLP) for the benefit of more than 1.3 million retiree pensioners.
SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel F. Dooc said the program was in response to the clamor from senior citizens to put an end to the growing incidence of pensioners falling victims to loan institutions that offer steep interest rates and to help them with their short-term needs like emergency medical expenses.
“As we celebrate the 61st anniversary of SSS, the launching of this program is our way of extending our assistance to our dear pensioners. SSS would not be able to reach 61 strong years if not for the contributions of our pensioners during the time that they were still strong and working,” Dooc said.
“This is just the beginning of our month-long anniversary celebrations. For pilot implementation, PLP will be offered in 20 branches serving the highest number of retiree pensioners. All 171 branches of SSS will accept PLP applications as soon as our system is ready for the full-scale implementation. Our pensioners need not to worry if PLP is not yet available in SSS branches nearest them because they may apply in the first 20 branches,” Dooc added.
The 20 SSS branches that will accept PLP applications starting today are: Diliman, Kalookan, Pasig-Pioneer (Shaw), New Panaderos (Mandaluyong), Manila, Makati-Gil Puyat, Alabang, Naga, Dagupan, Baguio, Ilagan, Bacoor, Binan, Cebu, Tacloban, Iloilo Central, Cagayan De Oro, Davao, General Santos, and Zamboanga.
SSS has allotted some P10 billion as possible loan exposure amount for the program.
SSS said retiree pensioners who are 80 years old and below at the end of the month of loan term, have no outstanding loan balance and benefit overpayment payable to SSS, have no advance pension under the SSS Calamity Package, and have been receiving their regular monthly pensions for at least six months are qualified to avail of the program.
Minimum loan amount for qualified pensioners is twice the amount equivalent to their basic monthly pension and the additional P1,000 benefit while the maximum loanable amount is six times their basic monthly pension plus the additional P1,000 benefit, not exceeding P32,000.
The loan will incur an interest rate of 10 percent per annum until fully paid computed on a diminishing principal balance, which shall become part of the monthly amortization. The loan repayment term of the loanable amount will be payable in three, six, or 12 months depending on the multiple of the loan amount and will be deducted from the monthly pension of the borrower.
The first monthly amortization will be due on the second month after the loan was granted. For example, if the loan is granted in September, the first monthly amortization will be deducted from the monthly pension for the month of November.
“For further assistance to our pension loan borrowers, we will not charge any service fee like the usual 1 percent charged to all loan applications. Pension-borrower, however, is required to pay the loan insurance fee thru a one-time deduction from the proceeds of the loan. This will secure both the pensioner borrower and his beneficiaries and the SSS should there be an untoward incident that will happen to the former during the repayment period,” Dooc said.
To apply for the pension loan, the borrower needs to apply for the PLP personally at any SSS branch and bring his Social Security Card or Unified Multi-Purpose Identification Card, or any two valid identification cards both with signature and at least one photo. Upon submission of identification requirements, the SSS will verify the information provided by the pensioner and if he is eligible to avail of the loan program.