INFORMATION BLITZ: Paalala sa mga OFW-members ng PhilHealth: Ang PhilHealth membership and contribution ay MANDATORY ayon sa batas kaya magpamiyembro at magbayad ng kontribusyon bago umalis ng bansa. Seguraduhin ang proteksyon ng kalusugan ng iyong sarili at pamilya.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

SSS encourages OFWs to make saving a priority thru Flexi-fund Program

By Jocelyn P. Alvarez

ZAMBOANGA CITY - The Social Security System (SSS)-Zamboanga encourages Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to make saving a priority for their future needs or to mitigate loss of income once they come home.
Thru the SSS Flexi-fund Program, OFWs are guaranteed to an exclusive safe investment, risk-free vehicle designed primarily for them and their family’s future. Flexi-Fund allows OFW SSS members to prepare for the future by encouraging saving while they are employed overseas.

What is Flexi-Fund for OFWs
The Social Security System's flexi-fund program, a voluntary provident fund, is an innovation for OFWs’ financial security.

The Flexi Fund is a mechanism where an OFW can save more for the future by paying an amount aside from the regular monthly SSS premium. It requires at least P200.00 paid in excess of current maximum salary credit of P16, 000.00. Entitlements from the fund are added on top of the regular membership benefits.
The program is tax-free and members could avail of the fund as early as three years after membership date, or choose to leave the fund intact until members retire.

Flexi Fund utilization options
Members of the program have the following options as to the utilization of the fund: avail of the accumulated balance in the provident fund to meet their financial needs; apply for early withdrawals to finance housing, education, or capital for business; hold the fund until retirement age, which can be drawn in the form of monthly pension, or a lump sum payment or both.

Who can be members
All OFWs can be members of the SSS Flexi-fund Program with the following conditions: they were   recruited in the Philippines by a foreign-based employer for employment abroad; having a source of income in a foreign country; or residing permanently in a foreign country.

Flexi-Fund Benefits

A member who has reached 60 years of age is entitled to a retirement benefit. 

Death and disability
Upon the death of a pensioner, the beneficiary shall receive a lump sum benefit equivalent to the cash value of the remaining pension.

Early Withdrawal
A member may withdraw his contributions to the fund including interest anytime.

Per data provided by the SSS, registered voluntary member OFWs as of 2014 was 1,028,252 but only an estimated 443,000 or 32.4% are paying SSS premiums and receiving benefits. Based on the 2013 Philippine Statistics Authority’s survey, only two of every five OFWs are able to save from their cash remittances, thus the need of the OFWs to save or start saving for their financial security.