Below are notes relevant to Filipino immigrants claiming their Philippine SSS pension.
1. SSS retirement claim instructions in the SSS Guidebook include the following:
- For members residing abroad, any valid ID card/document issued by
foreign governments indicating foreign citizenship/residency/employment prior
to retirement (e.g., certificate of naturalization, foreign passport, driver’s license,
residency card, and work permit) shall be accepted in the absence of document/s
stated under Part B.1.
- Certificate of Naturalization prior to marriage abroad and Decree of Divorce after
acquiring foreign citizenship, or its equivalent
– This certificate is needed if the claimant has a dependent child not reported in member’s SSS records, has married abroad and was previously married in the Philippines.
2. The SSS Guidebook states:
So I think Filipino immigrants who are still working at age 60 do not have to wait till they turn 65 to file their SSS retirement benefit claims. They just have to turn their membership status to VM or Voluntary Member.
If you check your online SSS account, and your status is Employed, or Self-Employed, you can turn your status to VM or Voluntary Member by paying at least one monthly contribution as a Voluntary member. In your payment slip, write or check “Voluntary Member.”
If you’re already 54 or older, or if you plan to make this payment your last contribution payment, I suggest that you pay the current maximum monthly contribution (1,760 pesos as of March 2018).
SSS uses the last 60 monthly contributions as basis for computing the average monthly salary credit (one of the two basis of SSS pension amount).
3. Basically, a Filipino immigrant is still a Filipino citizen.
Republic Act No. 9225, known as the Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003, declares that natural-born citizens of the Philippines who become citizens of another country shall be deemed not to have lost their Philippine citizenship.
If you like to formalize your dual citizenship, here’s the process as described in the Bureau of Immigration website, or you can go to the website of the Philippine Consulate in Los Angeles, California, which gives more detailed information.
4. There are already many Filipinos who have been naturalized citizens of other countries that have been receiving their Philippine SSS pensions monthly.
Filipino pensioners abroad have been filing their ACOP or Annual Confirmation of Pensioner’s Form every year on their birthday month. Many have been using Visa debit cards to receive their SSS pension monthly. Recently, it’s Chinatrust (now CTBC Philippines) that has been issuing Visa debit cash cards for SSS pension withdrawals abroad.
5. Here’s the case of Philippine SSS pensioner in the UK, Mrs. Epigenia Belarmino.
As published by UK-based Pinoy new site AdoboRice, Mrs. Belarmino, a British citizen living in the UK, received her lumpsum benefit of 332,817.12 pesos in 2012, representing the total of her monthly pensions for 5 years, which accumulated because she filed at age 70. She also started receiving her monthly pension of 3,513.84, which will be for life. She was thankful to the SSS office at the Philippine Embassy in London for helping her process her Philippine SSS pension.
While working in the Philippines from August 1957 to July 1977, Mrs. Belarmino paid contributions to the SSS, accumulating a total of 20 credited years and total contributions of 3,176.06 pesos.
6. Section 15 of the 1997 Philippine SSS Law, RA 8282, states that the SSS may pay benefits without regard to nationality or country of residence. It also implies that a national of a foreign country can receive SSS benefits as long as his or her country is recognized by the Philippines and is also extending benefits to Filipino beneficiaries in the Philippines.