Digitizing the SSS reduces operational expenses

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The Social Security System (SSS) digitization program implemented under the current administration has resulted in a reduction in the operating expenses of the pension fund as a share of benefit payments by almost half last year compared to compared to 2015, the last full year of the previous administration. term, the Department of Finance (DOF) said.

The DOF said in a statement over the weekend that based on preliminary data, SSS operating expenses have been reduced to just P4 for every P100 of benefits paid in 2021, cutting that cost by almost half per year. compared to the P7.90 he spent in 2015 on the same activity.

The SSS said that if loan disbursements made by the fund are included in the calculation, it spent only P3.50 for every P100 benefit disbursed plus loans released in 2021.

As a share of the pension fund’s revenue, its operating expenses have also declined, from 5.5% in 2015 to 3.5% in 2021, said Aurora Ignacio, president and CEO of SSS.

Carlos Dominguez, DOF Secretary and Chairman of the Social Security Commission, ordered the SSS in 2019 to reduce its operating expenses as a share of benefit payments, which were 5.1% at the time, to around 3% to ensure that members’ contributions to the pension fund are spent efficiently and maximized for their benefit.

“Our digitization initiatives that we pursued at the direction of the secretary long before the pandemic have played a big role in our pursuit of reducing our operating expenses as a share of benefit payments,” Ignacio said.

For 2022, SSS aims to further reduce operating expenses to PPP 3.90 for every P100 benefit paid, Ignacio added.

SSS has invested 807 million pesos for capital expenditure from 2019 to 2021 to improve its information technology capabilities and prepare for its digital transformation, she said.

She added that SSS also entered into a Memorandum of Understanding last year with the Bureau of Treasury, Government Services Insurance System, Insurance Commission, Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Land Bank of the Philippines to procure a shared cyber defense solution as an additional layer. protection against hackers and other threats.

Last year, the SSS moved entirely to online processing of the various benefits requested by its members, including maternity, sickness, unemployment insurance, funeral and retirement benefits.

Payday and calamity loan applications are now filed, processed and posted 100% online.

Ignacio said the SSS also continues to provide its members with safe and convenient online access to their records and transactions through the SSS Mobile app and web platforms as part of its ExpreSSS campaign.

From 7.4 million in 2020, downloads of the SSS Mobile app increased to 12.02 million in 2021.

The total number of downloads of the SSS Mobile app since its launch in 2018 has already crossed the 22 million mark, Ignacio said.

Payments collected through this app using digital wallets such as PayMaya, GCash, credit and debit cards, and through BPI amounted to 1.03 billion pesos across 373,153 transactions last year.

In the third quarter of last year, less than 1%, or around 13,000, of the three million SSS pensioners were still receiving their pensions by check, while the rest had already switched to electronic payments, Ignacio said.

Also last year, she said SSS was able to collect from delinquent accounts a total of 23.71 billion pesos, an increase of 138 percent from the 9.98 billion pesos collected in 2020.

She added that the SSS launched its mandatory provident fund dubbed the Workers’ Investment and Savings Program (WISP) in 2021, which now has 3.6 million members with total contributions amounting to 13.8. billion pesos.

WISP membership is automatic for those with a monthly salary credit of over P20,000. – Angela Celis

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