Following the recent Malacañang approval, the Social Security System (SSS) bared the terms of its new 10-percent across-the-board pension increase for work-related claims under the Employees’ Compensation (EC) Program and the doubled EC funeral grant, which now stands at P20,000. Both increases will be implemented retroactively, with September 2013 as the date of effectivity.

Agnes San Jose, SSS Vice President for Benefits Administration, said the pension hike covers about 17,200 active EC pensioners under SSS as of August 31, 2013 for permanent partial disability, permanent total disability and survivorship. Meanwhile, SSS claimants of EC funeral grants for deaths dated September 1, 2013 onwards are entitled to the higher P20,000 benefit.

President Benigno S. Aquino III approved the EC benefit upgrades under Executive Order No. 167 issued last May 26. The EC Program – which provides additional benefits for employees with work-connected sicknesses, injuries and death – is administered by SSS for the private sector and by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) for the public sector.

“Claimants covered by the date of effectivity whose EC funeral grants of P10,000 were already settled by SSS will each receive an additional P10,000 in burial benefits, given the retroactive implementation of the increase,” San Jose explained.

“Pensioners will get higher EC pensions, as well as the additional benefits resulting from the retroactive date of effectivity, in September 2014 upon completion of our system changes,” she added.

The new increases stemmed from SSS’ proposal to hike EC pensions and EC funeral grants for SSS members and beneficiaries, which was submitted to the Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) for approval. The ECC expanded the SSS proposal to also include higher EC funeral grants for those covered by the GSIS, and then endorsed the EC benefit increases to Malacañang for its approval for implementation.

In a related development, the SSS also recently announced another across-the-board pension increase – this time at five percent, effective June 2014 — for 1.9 million SSS pensioners under the Social Security (SS) Program as part of SSS’ commitment to enhance its members’ benefits.

“SSS’ sustained financial growth has paved the way for new benefit increases for members and beneficiaries. This year marks a significant period in our continuing campaign to provide more meaningful benefits, while balancing it with our duty to look after the fund’s long-term viability,” San Jose noted.