As part of measures to make transactions convenient for members, the Social Security System (SSS) has partnered with the National Statistics Office (NSO) in developing a data matching program that will regularly scan the civil registry for deaths and marriages of SSS pensioners to verify their continued eligibility to pension.
The SSS-NSO partnership was forged under a memorandum of agreement signed by SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio de Quiros, Jr. and NSO Administrator Carmelita Ericta on February 14, 2014.
Rita Baloy, SSS Officer-in-Charge for Benefits Administration, said the SSS-NSO partnership may pave the way for the eventual waiving of the Annual Confirmation of Pensioners (ACOP) – or the required visit or submission of documents to reconfirm pension eligibility — for certain types of pensioners.
The pensioner’s death, remarriage of a surviving spouse and marriage of a dependent below age 21 are among the reasons for the permanent stoppage of pensions. However, monitoring other factors for pension cancellation – such as employment, cohabitation and recovery from disability — still needs the ACOP since these cannot be checked using NSO data.
“While the development of the new SSS-NSO project is underway, ACOP compliance is still expected of all SSS pensioners at present to ensure the continued release of their pension,” Baloy emphasized.
During ‘Phase 1” or the pilot implementation, the SSS-NSO data matching will initially focus on pensioners aged 80 and above who, in consideration of their health conditions, were allowed to submit their ACOP requirements through a representative or via mail.
“Under the pilot run scheduled this year, SSS will no longer require the yearly ACOP visit or submission of documents for pensioners aged 80 and above, since we will instead check their current status using NSO records,” Baloy said. “If the pilot implementation is successful, we shall proceed to ‘Phase 2’ that will involve NSO data matching for all SSS pensioners.”
With the wider access to NSO records, the SSS can readily secure the necessary certifications to verify the documents submitted by pensioners under the ACOP to ensure their authenticity.
Aside from helping pensioners with the ACOP, benefits of the SSS-NSO partnership are also seen to reach the greater SSS membership, since NSO will provide SSS a facility to secure certificates on behalf of transacting members and beneficiaries, thereby making the process more convenient for them.
The direct release of certificates from NSO to SSS will also help facilitate faster processing of benefit claims and other SSS transactions. NSO documents such as birth, marriage and death certificates are normally required by SSS to ensure the authenticity of claims filed by members and beneficiaries.