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Social Security System (SSS) is set to implement the electronic Collection System (e-CS) to enable the real-time posting of contribution payments from SSS branch tellering facilities and other payment channels by first quarter of next year.
SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel F. Dooc said that real-time posting of contributions will allow faster processing of claims to help members and their beneficiaries receive their benefits and loan proceeds on time.
All SSS benefits and loans are based on contributions of members and their employers. Thus, it is important that these payments are recorded correctly and promptly. Otherwise, they may not immediately qualify for certain benefits and loans.
“For instance, to avail of a sickness benefit, a member must have at least three posted contributions in the last 12 months immediately before his semester of sickness or injury. If any of his required contributions is not posted, he cannot apply yet for a sickness benefit,” explained Dooc.
Dooc said that the pilot phase of the project will aim for near real-time processing of contribution payments from SSS branch tellering facilities within this year. This means that contributions will be posted within 24 hours from the time of payment. The pension fund has 279 branches nationwide, 96 of which accepts payments. It also has 81 accredited partner-banks and 10 non-bank collection partners. As of August 2017, the SSS collected P106 billion in contributions from its various payment facilities.
“About 66 percent of our contribution collections are remitted through other payment channels aside from our tellering facilities, so we will make sure that our collection partners are in sync with our system to implement real-time posting of contributions,” Dooc said.
More than 34 percent of the remittances came from SSS branches amounting to P 36 billion. About 38 percent or P39.8 billion are paid through our ePayment partners like the Electronic Data Interchange facilities, overseas collection partners, Bayad Center, SM Payment Centers, and Auto-debit Arrangement program partners.
The Social Security Commission, the policy-making body of the pension fund, approved the policy amendments, system and procedural enhancements, and resource requirements for the implementation of the e-CS to support continuous process improvements at the SSS.
“The Commission’s priority is to enhance the contribution collection process. Not only will it improve the turn-around time for processing benefits, but it will also provide a detailed, accurate, and on-time data on our contribution collection efficiency,” said SSC Chairman Amado Valdez.
Valdez noted that there has been a significant increase in number of unposted member loan collections from P1.135 billion in 2016 to P817 million as of March 31, 2017. “Although we have managed to improve posting of member loan payments, we are still not happy with it so we are pushing for process enhancements like real-time posting,” he added.
Among the requirements for this process enhancement is for all employers and individual members, namely self-employed, voluntary and OFW members to register in the My.SSS facility at the SSS website.
The SSS shall generate the initial electronic Contribution Collection List (e-CL) for all regular and household employers and Statement of Account (SOA) for individual members.
“By logging in to their My.SSS account, employers will have access to their e-CLs, and SOAs for individual members. The good thing about this facility is that they can review and edit their e-CL and SOA details should there be any changes," Dooc explained.
In the case of employers, they can add newly hired employees and indicate separated employees. For individual members, they can change the applicable period if they want to make advance payments for a year, and change the amount of contribution if their monthly earnings have increased or decreased.
Upon validation and confirmation of the e-CL or SOA, the e-CS shall automatically generate a Payment Reference Number (PRN) that will be used mandatorily by the employer or member in paying SSS contributions at any accredited payment facility.
All bank and non-bank collection partners are required to shift to the e-CS using PRN as basis for payment acceptance.
“All SSS branch tellering facilities and non-bank payment partners will implement real-time posting of SSS contribution payments starting January 16, 2018. All commercial and universal banks are required to convert their current manual processing of SSS contribution collections and report submission into the e-CS with PRN by February 4, 2018, and March 4, 2018 for all other banks,” Dooc concluded.