PRIVATE employees who are members of the Social Security System are entitled to another mandatory benefits upon retirement, apart from the cash benefit paid either in monthly pension or as lump sum.
In an interview, Maria Lourdes Pastor, concurrent acting head of the Middle East and Europe Operations Division, reminded SSS members of the newest retirement savings scheme in addition to their regular social security benefits.
“This is called the Worker’s Investment and Savings Program (WISP), which is mandatory (under Republic Act 11199). There is this other voluntary provident fund for self-employed under the WISP Plus,” Pastor told the Manila Standard.
Employers must comply with the law to settle the monthly contributions for WISP of their regular employers from their wages.
“An employer must remit the two monthly contributions of their workers,” Pastor stressed.
She said contributing employees may visit the SSS online portal to check if their employers have been complying with RA 11199.
The contributions to the WISP fund are being invested as provided under the law, which will yield additional or higher pension income, she said,
WISP contributions are paid together with the contributions in the regular SSS program for retiring employees.
“One’s WISP contributions (automatically) earn a monthly interest,” Pastor said.
Under WISP, a member is entitled to a retirement fund, disability and death benefits in addition to those provided by the regular SSS program.
A contributing member gets two different packages of retirement benefits under the WISP.
Pastor said the WISP Plus is a voluntary retirement savings program for self-employed SSS members.
“This is another investment journey for our contributing members,” she cited.
“You save and invest, and you earn an interest (because your money will generate earnings),” she added.
According to Pastor, WISP Plus is an additional layer of social security protection that is tax-free.
WISP funds offer investment earning based on rates higher than those provided by banks.
Voluntary WISP contributors may withdraw their contributions under “extreme hardship cases,” the SSS official said.
“One should have a 12-month contribution or more to be able to avail of the benefits,” she said.
“They can pull out their WISP contributions and re-enroll for the same program. They will be surprised because their contributions have earned a significant investment earnings,” she noted.