The Manila Times



PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has approved the proposed reforms on the military uniformed personnel (MUP) PENSION SYSTEM TO AVOID A “fiSCAL collapse,” Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said on Thursday.

The suggested tweaks include receipt of pension at the age of 57; mandatory contributions for active personnel and new entrants; removal of automatic indexation of pension to the salary of active personnel of a similar rank; and application of reform for all active personnel and new entrants.

“It was approved by the President, and we will push this to Congress. The President has recognized the need for this,” Diokno said.

He said that the changes are immediately needed as the “situation is so bleak.”

“There will come a time when the current budget [of the military] would only be about one-third or one-fourth of the money that we’re paying for the pensioners,” the Finance chief told reporters at a briefing in Malacañang.

“So, we really have to address that issue. It’s not sustainable. If this goes on, there will be a fiscal collapse,” he added.

He said that Department of National Defense (DND) Senior Undersecretary Carlito Galvez Jr. and Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. concurred with the proposed amendments.

The MUP pension system covers retirees from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, the Bureau of Fire Protection, the Philippine National Police, the Philippine Public Safety College, the Philippine Coast Guard, and the Bureau of Corrections.

Diokno lamented that because the current scheme has no minimum pensionable age, retirees could start receiving their pensions as early as 40 years old, given that they were also recruited into the uniformed service at a young age.

“Military people live longer than us. Some reach the age of 90. So, if they retire at 40, they’ll get their pension up to age 90. Isn’t that ridiculous?” he asked.

To ensure that funds remain liquid for new entrants, Diokno said that “mandatory contributions will be required for active personnel and new entrants similar to the GSIS (Government Service Insurance System) pensioners.”

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