SSS bares new loan penalty plan
BY TIZIANA CELINE PIATOS
The Manila Times
THE Social Security System (SSS) announced a new loan penalty condonation program for qualified members, citing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. In a statement to The Manila Times on Friday, the state-run social insurance program said the program shall combine the principal and interest of a member’s past-due short-term member loans into one consolidated loan. At the same time, all unpaid penalties shall be consolidated and condoned upon full payment of the loan. According to SSS, members may settle their consolidated loan via one-time payment within 30 calendar days after receiving the approval notice or may opt to pay through installment. For the installment scheme, members must have a down payment equivalent to at least 10 percent of the consolidated loan within 30 calendar days after receiving the approval notice. Meanwhile, the members can pay the remaining balance for up to 60 months, depending on the amount. If the member fails to meet the payment terms based on the consolidated loan agreement, the state-run social insurance agency will deduct the outstanding balance of the consolidated loan from sickness, maternity, or partial disability benefit claims; and final benefits like permanent total disability, death, and retirement. SSS added that the outstanding balance of the consolidated loan can also be deducted from the members’ beneficiaries’ death benefit or from the actual final benefit claims. Members who want to avail of the program should have a pastdue short-term member loan at the time of their application; have not been granted any final benefit such as permanent total disability or retirement; have not been disqualified due to fraud committed against SSS; and have an active My.SSS account. They may also submit their application for the consolidated loan program online through My.SSS account. “We want to collect the past-due loans from our members. However, we also recognize that the pandemic has greatly affected the livelihood of many of them,” said SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Regino. “At this point, they might already be able to pay their loan obligations,” added Regino. According to Regino, SSS designed this consolidated program to help them settle their loan obligations by condoning the penalties and offering flexible payment terms.