Philippines' Social Security System (SSS) has been enhanced with the launch of a voluntary provident fund for overseas Filipino workers (OFW).
The SSS Flexi-Fund provides a mechanism for the OFW to save more for the future, complementing the benefits under the regular SSS programs.
What we noticed is the OFW earns a lot in a short period of time, said SSS president Vitaliano Nañagas. So this is a way for the OFW to even it out.”
The program is tax-free and OFW members can avail of the fund as early as three years after the commencement date, or choose to leave the fund alone until they retire.
SSS-OFW encourages members, who earn higher levels of income that are otherwise not available locally, to save while they are employed overseas.
An OFW can pay his contribution to the fund any time, provided that at the time of payment the maximum required monthly contribution is paid to the regular social security program. Any amount paid in excess of the required maximum monthly contribution to the regular social security program shall be applied to the fund.
The SSS Flexi-Fund's program includes benefits such as retirement, death and disability and early withdrawal.
The launch of the fund follows calls by SSS executives for the ousting of Nañagas. In a signature campaign, the executives called for his withdrawal from the SSS on the grounds of mismanagement, including investment losses, excessive salaries, alleged illiquidity and reduced life of the SSS fund.
In a recent statement, Nañagas expressed that these allegations were part of the existing conditions when he took over in January 2001, and his efforts have been focused on addressing these issues.
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