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.

Monday, May 18, 2015

SSS-Sibugay urged OFWs to save, enroll in Flexi-Fund program

By Emmanuel D. Taghoy

IPIL, Zamboanga Sibugay – To help Filipino workers abroad prepare for their future, the Social Security System (SSS) has been encouraging Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) hereto commit to regular saving and join the exclusive Flexi-Fund program.

“We are inviting Sibugaynons who are working abroad to register with SSS and take charge of their personal finances through regular savings. We invite them as well to join the exclusive Flexi-Fund program for OFWs,” Branch Head Rudy M. Lacandalo of SSS-Sibugay said.

Lacandalo said it would be beneficial for OFWs to enrol to the Flexi-Fund Program while they are still employed abroad. “Once they returned home and their income stops, their savings with SSS can mitigate the loss of income,” he explained.

An OFW member will be able to save and build up funds that can be used upon retirement to supplement the benefits available under the regular SSS program for a minimum of P200 paid in excess of the maximum contribution.

Under the regular SSS program, an OFW member can contribute at least P550 based on the P5,000 minimum monthly salary credit (MSC) for OFWs to a maximum of P1,760 per month based on the maximum MSC of P16,000. SSS savings will redound to their benefits in the form of payments for contingencies such as sickness, maternity, disability, retirement and death.

Accordingly, early withdrawal of funds is also allowed in case of urgent cash needs.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) 2013 Survey on Overseas Filipinos showed that only 40.7 percent of 1.9 million OFWs who sent remittances had savings from cash remittances, which was 2.2-percent lower than data in 2012.

As of September 2014, existing OFW members of the Flexi-fund program reached 39,274 with total equity amounting to P431 million. A paying OFW member has an average Flexi-fund investment of P10,974.

The SSS estimates Flexi-fund investments to grow at an average guaranteed interest rate of 1.3 percent this year, while Flexi-fund accounts with annual incentive benefits (AIB) will have a total yield of 3.9 percent.

According to Lacandalo, SSS-Sibugay was not able to receive an application on the Flexi-Fund program since most of the OFW members applied in the main offices. But, he said their office is open for assistance and will accept applications if there will be.