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SSS Seminar participants

SSS Seminar participants

The Social Security System (SSS) is further expanding its reach overseas to capture a larger share of Filipinos working or living abroad

SSS President and CEO Emilio S. De Quiros, Jr., and  Senior Vice President Judy Frances A. See, conducted the seminar before  a huge number of Filipino participants.  The outreach mission with  a Filipino community briefing  was held at the NH Hotel Vienna on October 17, 2015.

Aside from briefings on SSS programs and services for overseas Filipinos, the team also conducted registration and verification of existing social security numbers; flexi-fund program enrollment; member data amendment; verification of records, application of benefits; and confirmation of pensioners for continued pension entitlement and pensioners’ data change request.

De Quiros explained the key objectives of their outreach mission: enjoining Filipinos to register with SSS, encourage existing members to continue their contributions, and evaluate their resources for setting foreign territory operations.

Senior Vice President Judy Frances A elaborated that as far as registering is concerned, Filipinos abroad only need to go online and use the SSS Form OW-1 to enlist. According to See, the SSS does not require any OFW documents for membership. Even if an individual is an undocumented immigrant in Austria, they can still avail of an SSS membership. They only need to present a valid ID and a birth certificate that indicates their nationality as Filipinos or Filipino-Austrian.

Ambassador Angara-Collinson  and Embassy officials with SSS President Emilio de Quiros and Senior Vice President of SSS Judy See

Ambassador Angara-Collinson and Embassy officials with SSS President Emilio de Quiros and Senior Vice President of SSS Judy See

Monthly contribution

Currently, overseas Filipinos can make a minimum monthly contribution equivalent to Php520 or $12 USD. The maximum monthly contribution an Overseas Filipino can make is equivalent to Php1,560 or $36 USD. Filipinos abroad have a longer deadline to file their payment contributions. For the period of January to September, the deadline is December 31 of each year. For the October to December period, the annual deadline is January 31. Payments are accepted thru accredited financial entities and agents.

Contributions can be paid through accredited collection partners in Austria. See cited BDO and IRemit as accredited financial institutions here.

The Philippines has bilateral agreements on social security with Austria, Canada and Quebec, France, United Kingdom, Belgium, Switzerland and Spain.

The agreements ensure payment of social security benefits to migrant workers through “totalization” and export of benefits.

With totalization, Filipinos who have divided their career time between the Philippines and these countries will be able to combine their coverage periods in both countries to meet eligibility requirements for social security pension in either or both countries.

In addition, a worker will continue to receive his benefits wherever he decides to reside in the Philippines or in any of these countries where the social security agreement is in effect. Bilateral discussions with other countries are currently pursued.

- Volet SB Gerstl, phil-euro-bulletin.com