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April 7, 2016 12:33 PM PST
SINCE 2007

OFWs can reactivate membership & still get benefits even in the US - SSS

By Jun Nucum | FilAm Star Correspondent

At a recent stop in San Francisco in their visit to the U.S., Social Security System (SSS) President, Chief Executive officer Emilio de Quiros Jr., Senior Vice President of Account Management Group, International Operations Division Judy Frances See and other top officials exhorted Filipino members in the U.S. to re-activate their membership to be entitled to pension and other benefits.

“This is why we are re-opening our San Francisco office, the 22nd SSS foreign office on January 2016,” de Quiros announced.

See explained further why Overseas Filipino worker (OFW) members need to reactivate their accounts. “OFW members should re-activate their membership because a lot of them have not completed the 120-month requirement for retirement pension and their last contributions before they left were at low rates.” See stressed, “For every peso you contribute, everything goes back to you plus interest, 1:6 at the minimum to 1:20 at the maximum.”

Top executives of the SSS led by de Quiros, Jr. trooped to the Philippine San Francisco Consulate recently not just to announce the reopening of the SSS branch office but also to render full services to all members of the agency both old and new. They are slated to go to other big U.S. cities such as Los Angeles, Washington and Chicago.

“We used to have a San Francisco office in the past but, for whatever reason, it was stopped. We are now aggressively reaching out to our overseas Filipinos workers (OFWs). We had one opened in Toronto last year. I am here to give you an update on what is happening to SSS while our staff is conducting the all-important on-site services for member concerns,” de Quiros stated. 

Through their SSS number, members can continue payment of their contributions to reactivate their membership which is automatic the moment a contribution is made. Contributions from January this year can still be paid until end of December and that will be counted in favor of the minimum required 120-month contribution to avail of the pension.

“The net revenue we generated last 2014 was PHPesos 44.47billion or a 15.9% increase from 2013 figure of PHPesos 38.36billion. The revenues from contribution collections of PHPesos 120.65billion in 2014, a 17.1% increase from 2013’s PHPesos 103.01 while the revenue came from investment and other income which was PHPesos 34.53B in 2014 and PHPesos 34.39billion in 2013,” de Quiros reported. “In terms of expenditures, we have benefit payment of PHPesos 102.6billion in 2014 or a 12.3% increase from the benefit payment of PHPesos 91.40 of 2013. Major portions of benefit payments go to retirement and death benefits.”

SSS membership increased with 33.3M members in September 2015 compared to 28.8 million in December 2010 including 1.1 million OFWs in 2015 which used to be only 0.7 million in 2010.

See clarified that as long as applicants are Filipinos or former Filipinos and even if they were born abroad but with Filipino or former Filipino parents and are dual citizens, they can be first time registrants and qualify to be SSS members.

In an interview after the briefing, de Quiros attributed the increase in revenues to their outreach efforts for increase in membership, aside from the reactivation of old members. Another effort they exerted was strict compliance of employers to remit the contributions of members that were already deducted from their salaries. The moment that employers commit mishap in the remittance of their employees’ contributions, said employers are sent notices right away and should they still fail to comply, a case against them would be filed.

They now have 22 offices in 17 countries that include, Hong Kong, Tapiei, Brunei, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Macau also now in Kaoshiung, and soon in Tokyo. In the Middle East, they have offices in Riyadh, Jeddah, Al Khobar, Doha, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bahrain and Oman. In Europe, they have Rome, Milan and London offices while North America has Toronto and soon-to-be-reopened in San Francisco offices.

In the Philippines, the SSS has 286 offices and their service offices are also located in malls (Robinson’s, Starmall, Walter Mart, SM City, Puregold, etc.

For more information on the flexi fund and other North America OFW concerns, See advised to visit the San Francisco office at 7th floor of the Philippine Center Building at 447 Sutter St. San Francisco, CA starting January 2016 or call hotlines (760)-7972187 for U.S. and (760)-4065152 for Canada from Monday 6:00 a.m. to Saturday 6:00 a.m. Manila time.

All OFWs can also send their communications at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The family of Gervacio Castro who worked for 34 years in Subic Naval Base in Zambales was glad that SSS onsite services taught them a lot.

“The services they gave were very good. We are thankful kasi pinadala ang SSS dito to reach out to the OFWs in California. We were enlightened because many of our questions were answered especially those who already live here and cannot go back to the Philippines right away,” disclosed Gervacio’s children Jerry Castro and Eva Castro delos Santos, who were originally from Olongapo and are now South San Francisco residents. “We can now still continue our contributions from here and we can even bring our father here for his own concerns.”

Among the nearby places that SSS went after was the Pilipino Senior Resource Center (PSRC) at Mission Street, San Francisco now headed by newly-installed executive director Cecille Ascalon, wife of Deputy Consul-General Jaime Ramon Ascalon.

Ascalon reported that some 80 PSRC members and guests who had their early Christmas party felt honored that de Quiros visited them with other SSS officers and Mariza Bensurto, wife of the PCG SF Consul General Henry Bensurto Jr.
“One concern of the PSRC members is that most of them are long-time U.S. residents who want to continue with their contributions but can no longer remember their SSS numbers. They asked if they can get their pensions while still living in the U.S.,” Ascalon said.

An SSS officer then gave them forms where they wrote their names, addresses and birthdays then the members were able to get the information that they needed. De Quiros then assured them they “can still get their pensions even if they live in the U.S.”