SSS profit up 14 percent in 10 months

The Social Security System (SSS) posted a 14-percent increase in profit to P37.3 billion in the 10 months that ended in October as contributions of members continued to show growth.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio S. de Quiros Jr said SSS net profit increased from January to October buoyed by contribution collections which rose 16.9 percent to P100 billion from the same period last year.

“Contributions, which constitute 77.5 percent of our total revenues, registered improved growth primarily due to the employed sector. We also noticed immediate improvement in collections after we implemented the new contribution rate and increased the monthly salary credit this year,” de Quiros said.

For the period, employers remitted about P86.9 billion in employees’ contributions, followed by voluntary paying members at P8.6 billion, and self-employed at P4.5 billion.

The double-digit growth in collections was likewise achieved through the SSS AlkanSSSya program, which has covered 106,824 members from 1,061 informal sector groups and associations; intensified marketing campaigns for OFWs; and partnerships with 18 microfinance institutions, cooperatives and organized groups, de Quiros said.

The agency’s total revenue stood at P129 billion, representing an increase of 13.2 percent or P15 billion compared to the same period in 2013. Investment and other income, which comprised 22.5 percent of total revenues had a modest increase of 1.9 percent to P29 billion despite lower interest rates in the market.

“Profits slightly moved up with revenues posting an increment of 13.2 percent vis-a-vis expenditures of 13 percent. Significantly, we were able to keep our operations costs down while outperforming our target by 46 percent,” de Quiros said.

Total expenditures, which cover benefit payments and operating expenses amounted to P91.7 billion, of which 93.3 percent was spent on benefits totalling P85.6 billion, up 13.7 percent from P75.3 billion of the same period of 2013. More than half of the amount or P46.5 billion was paid for retirement claims, and about one-third or P28.1 billion was disbursed to survivors of deceased members.

“The increase in benefit payments resulted from the five percent across-the-board increase for 1.8 million SSS pensioners that took effect this June 2014. Also part of the reason for the increase was the pensions we advanced to 3,931 pensioners including those affected by Zamboanga siege, Bohol and Cebu earthquake, typhoons Labuyo and Santi and to 17,394 pensioners affected by supertyphoon Yolanda,” de Quiros said.

Meanwhile, SSS operating expenses remained below its allowed charter limit at only P6.1 billion or 47.6 percent of the limit.

The financial position of the agency also continued to show solid performance with total resources reaching P436.6 billion, which was 13.5 percent higher than 2013 yearend level of P384.6 billion.

“SSS assets achieved double-digit growth on the back of our investments that rose P57.9 billion to P409.6 billion due to robust growth in government securities of P23.3 billion driven by additional placements on higher portfolio accounts and initial placement of ECC fund into government bonds,” de Quiros explained.

The SSS has about P414 billion at fair value in investible funds. More than 60 percent of the total are invested in government securities and equities, 20 percent in housing and member loans, four percent in real estate, and 11 percent in corporate bonds and bank deposits.