By Ben O. De Vera, March 10 2019; Philippine Daily Inquirer

Image Credit to ABS-CBN News

The state-run Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) has announced that it will increase the minimum pension of retired government workers without raising monthly contributions.

GSIS president and general manager Jesus Clint Aranas said the fund’s board of trustees had increased the basic pension of 67,201 pensioners from the current P5,000 to P6,000 effective in February after the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“It should be noted that the GSIS is recommending a pension hike that will not necessitate an increase in the monthly contribution of our members,” Aranas said, adding that the GSIS funds were good until 2051.

Aranas said the increase would actually be the second to be given to qualified GSIS pensioners in a span of two months.

Past increases

The first one, the annual 1.5-percent pension increase which has been regularly given to pensioners since 2010, was given to old-age and disability pensioners in January this year.

The 1.5-percent yearly increase was already being given to pensioners who have been receiving benefits for a minimum of five years.

But those who retired under Republic Act No. 7699, or the Portability law, and the survivors of deceased pensioners were not covered by the higher pension, Aranas said.

“After the approval of the proposal, those whose pension are still lower than P6,000 after the 1.5-percent increase will get another round of increase to adjust their pension to P6,000 retroactive to February 2019,” Aranas said.

Law’s provision

“Portability law pensioners have been granted pension benefit after combining their contributions in the GSIS and the Social Security System (SSS),” he said.

“The law dictates that the amount of benefit to be paid by the GSIS or the SSS should be in  proportion to the actual premium contributed to the pension fund,” Aranas added.

Under Republic Act No. 8291, or the GSIS law, basic monthly pension can only be increased once recommended by the GSIS president and general manager and approved by the President.

The average GSIS pension now stands at P12,560 a month.