The Social Security System (SSS) recently announced that more than 1.5 million retiree-pensioners as of August 2019 may now loan up to Php200,000 under the Enhanced Pension Loan Program (PLP).
“As we celebrate the Elderly Filipino Week, we would like to inform our pensioners the good news about PLP. They can now borrow up to 12 times their basic monthly pension plus the additional P1,000 benefit,” SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora C. Ignacio said via a press release. SSS branches are now accepting PLP applications from qualified retiree-pensioners following the Social Security Commission (SSC) Resolution No. 429-s.2019.
The enhanced PLP guidelines also give a pension loan borrower more loan options. From the previous minimum loanable amount of twice his basic monthly pension (BMP) plus the P1,000 additional benefit, the pensioner borrower may now loan up to three, six times, nine or 12 times of his BMP plus the P1,000 additional benefit.
“We want our pensioners to know that we value them as one of our key stakeholders in recognition of their support to SSS during their prime, wherein their monthly contributions were the lifeline of the pension fund then,” she added.
Apart from the higher loanable amount, the new enhanced PLP guidelines also offer retiree pensioners longer payment terms and a more inclusive range for the age qualification.
Who are qualified to apply for pension loans?
Under the new enhanced PLP guidelines, qualified retiree pensioners should be 85 years old or younger by the end of his loan repayment term. They should have no current outstanding loan balance, or benefit overpayment payable to SSS from his monthly pension. They must also have no existing advance pension under the SSS calamity package,
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SSS retiree pensioners who will apply for a pension loan should have an “active” pension status, and must also be receiving his regular monthly pension for at least one month to qualify, the latter already took effect starting January 2019.
Longer pension loan payment term options and lower interest rates
The repayment terms were also adjusted, as stated in the new enhanced PLP guidelines. Retiree pensioners who will apply for a pension now have the option to pay it in six, 12, or 24 months, with the first monthly amortization to be due on the second month after the loan is granted.
According to Ignacio, the higher loan amounts and extended payments terms seek to discourage retiree pensioners from transacting with loan organizations that charge them with steep interest rates. “We hope that more pensioners will be encouraged to avail of this loan as this only incurs an interest rate of 10 percent per annum,” she said.
SSS implemented the PLP last September 2018 in response to the clamor of senior citizens to prevent the growing incidence of pensioners falling victims to loan sharks and help them with their short-term needs. The state-run social security agency has since released 59,224 pension loans amounting to P1.4 billion as of September 30, 2019.
Since 2018, the agency also now accept members’ government identification other than the Social Security Card or Unified Multi-Purpose Identification (UMID). “We continuously develop programs to help alleviate the financial problems of our members,” Ignacio said.