Social Security System (SSS) pensioners can now easily remember their annual schedule for confirming their eligibility to pension, with the yearly visit to banks or SSS now based on the members’ birth month, instead of the month of contingency such as retirement, death or disability.
SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio de Quiros, Jr. said pensioners for retirement and total disability can present themselves for the Annual Confirmation of Pensioners (ACOP) program on their birth month, while SSS death pensioners must comply with the ACOP on the deceased member’s birth month.
Under previous ACOP compliance guidelines, retired or disabled pensioners must visit their depository bank or any SSS branch on the month of their disability or retirement, while the schedule for surviving spouses receiving SSS death pensions falls on the month of the member’s death anniversary.
“Birthdays are memorable occasions for anyone. And with the ACOP visit now pegged on the member’s birth month instead of the month of contingency, SSS pensioners can better remember their ACOP schedule, and thus, avoid suspension of their pensions,” he said. “Pensioners also have the option to comply as early as six months before their birth month, which shall be treated as early ACOP compliance.”
De Quiros added that SSS pensioners who find it difficult to make that once-a-year visit for ACOP compliance, such as those based overseas, aged 80 years old and above, with poor health or under confinement, can still comply by submitting the required documents to SSS through mail, via email or through a representative within their birth month.
In 2012, a total of 2,850 pensioners with a combined monthly pension of P7.57 million were discovered to be no longer eligible for pension based on SSS’ interviews, evaluation of submitted documents and physical examination of those who complied with the ACOP.
“These pensions were immediately stopped by SSS branches upon discovery. Reasons for the cancelled pensions include the pensioners’ death, re-employment for those under age 65, remarriage of surviving spouse and members’ recovery from total disability,” de Quiros said.
“SSS savings from our ACOP implementation in 2012 alone translate to over P90 million every year. This attests to the program’s success in protecting members’ funds from those who attempt to cheat the system of benefits that they are no longer entitled to receive,” he added.
Under the law, SSS pensions must cease upon the pensioner’s death, or if the SSS retirement pensioner below age 65 returns to work. Disability pensions are cancelled if the member recovers from the disability, while spouses who remarry or cohabit become ineligible for SSS death pensions.