Social Security System (SSS) President and Chief Executive Officer Rolando Ledesma Macasaet said that pension loan releases in 2022 reached P5.95 billion, the highest annual disbursement for the Pension Loan Program (PLP) since it started in 2018.
Macasaet said that pension loan releases in 2022 almost double the P3.08 billion recorded in 2021. “From January to December 2022, the SSS has disbursed a monthly average of P495.77 million pension loans benefitting 10,660 retiree-pensioners, which is 93% higher than its corresponding monthly average in 2021 of P257.01 million to 5,753 retiree-pensioners.”
“We are delighted that we have assisted many of our retiree-pensioners for their short-term and immediate financial needs. We also prevent them from becoming victims of private lending institutions that charge high interest rates and require them to surrender their ATM cards as collateral,” he explained.
Likewise, the number of PLP applicants grew after the national government ease up community quarantine restrictions in the country, which allowed retiree-pensioners to submit their pension loan applications in SSS branches. “Our records show that a total of 127,920 retiree-pensioners availed from the PLP in 2022, which is 85% higher than the 69,036 retiree-pensioners who availed of the program in 2021,” Macasaet said.
Luzon recorded the highest number of PLP applicants with 30,158 retiree-pensioners amounting to nearly P1.39 billion in pension loans. The National Capital Region (NCR) came in second with 28,239 borrowers amounting to P1.43 billion. Visayas follows it with 17,038 loan applicants amounting to P740 million, and Mindanao with 12,917 borrowers amounting to P590 million. Meanwhile, online application through My.SSS portal had 39,568 loan applicants amounting to P1.80 billion.
The SSS chief said that 69% of the borrowers filed their loan applications through SSS branches while 31% used their My.SSS account in filing their PLP applications.
Macasaet noted that PLP applications through its online portal My.SSS also grew in 2022. “Starting May 2022, SSS enhanced PLP by allowing first-time applicants to file their loan applications using their My.SSS account, resulting in 39,568 approved pension loan applications in 2022, a 963% increase from only 3,721 in 2021,” he added.
“Opening an online facility for PLP borrowers paved the way for more retiree-pensioners to access this loan program. It also offered them convenience because they could submit their application even in the comfort of their homes. Once approved, the loan proceeds are directly credited to their disbursement accounts within five (5) working days,” Macasaet said.
SSS launched PLP to assist SSS retiree-pensioners in their immediate financial needs by offering a loan program with a low-interest rate of 10% per annum.
Macasaet further explained that PLP offers its borrowers flexible installment payment terms ranging from six (6) to 24 months. “We also ensure that the pensioners will still have a net take-home pension of at least 47.25% of their monthly pensions.”
Qualified retiree-pensioners can avail themselves of a loan equivalent to three, six, nine, or 12 times their basic monthly pension plus the P1,000 additional benefit granted in 2017, but not exceeding P200,000.00.