CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY -- The Social Security System (SSS) disbursed more than Php17 million worth of Annual Incentive Benefit (AIB) under the Flexi-Fund program in 2017 to its more than 47,000 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) members.
SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel F. Dooc said the AIB disbursed to qualified OFWs rose by 12.13 percent to Php17.38 million in 2017 compared with the Php15.5 million in 2016.
He said that the number of qualified OFWs with active accounts under the SSS Flexi-fund program in 2017 grew by 9.87 percent to 47,284 from the 43,035 on the same period in 2016.
“It is worth noting that our OFWs are making use of the Flexi-Fund program wherein they can invest their savings, which will yield higher returns compared with saving it in the bank for a period of time. As Senator Richard Gordon kept on saying during our charter amendment hearing, one should “Save, Invest and Prosper,” he said.
Dooc further said members’ equity in 2017 amounted to Php732.05 million while actual investment income for the same year reached Php32.07 million, of which Php12.75 million was already credited to members’ accounts as guaranteed earnings.
The combined AIB and guaranteed earnings increased the total amount credited to individual Flexi-Fund accounts to Php30.13 million in 2017, a 13 percent increase from the Php26.78 million credited in 2016.
According to him, the AIB received by each qualified member depends on the Flexi-fund’s year-end net investment income and is distributed based on the individual equity shares of all qualified members. “The higher the savings, the higher returns,” he explained.
The Flexi-Fund program is a voluntary provident fund program which allows OFWs to save a portion of their income abroad and maximize returns of their investment. It is offered exclusively to OFWs in addition to the benefits under the regular SSS program.
Under the Flexi-fund, savings are sourced from payments not lower than Php200, paid in excess of the required maximum SSS contributions. Amounts are invested in fixed income securities and the interest rates are based on the average rates of SSS’ short-term placements or 91-day Treasury bill, whichever is higher, re-priced quarterly.
The AIB was launched in 2012 to encourage OFWs to maintain and increase their retirement savings with SSS. It is granted to members with no full Flexi-fund withdrawals or benefit claims within the applicable year.
The maximum AIB credited to a member’s account in 2017 reached Php131,475 while the average AIB per individual is Php368.
OFWs can view their AIB amount, Flexi-fund account status, and other SSS membership records by registering at the My.SSS online service portal at the SSS Website (www.sss.gov.ph).
They may also inquire more about the Flexi-fund with our OFW Contact Services Section through service hotlines (632) 364-7796 and 364-7798 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. (SSS Cagayan de Oro/PIA-10)
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