The administration’s economic team adjusted current proposals for the military and uniformed personnel (MUP) pension reform, which will now offer three options for retirees to get their benefits.
Under the new proposal, MUPs who avail of optional retirement are given the prerogative to choose among three options: a) receive all pension benefits in one lump sum upon retirement; b) 60 months advance, then the payment of monthly pension benefits will kick in after five years; and c) receive pension benefits at age 57.
The new options were proposed in consideration of varying financial situations among MUPs and will be applied on a case-to-case basis, Finance Undersecretary Maria Luwalhati Dorotan Tiuseco said.
Tiuseco presented the economic team’s latest proposal during the dialog with the AFP Health Service Command on June 2, which was attended by about 150 on-site participants and almost 100 virtual participants.
The adjustments were made after initial consultations with the AFP and the Presidential Security Group.
Finance Undersecretary Maria Cielo Magno assured the MUPs that the economic team has been given the directive to study the current pension systems of other government branches enjoying similar pension benefits, amid pension sustainability concerns.
After four dialogues with the military, the economic team is scheduled to meet with uniformed personnel, starting with the Philippine National Police on June 7 at Camp Crame, Quezon City.
The economic team said it will continue to gather sentiments of the MUPs and introduce necessary improvements to the proposal to come up with a well-balanced solution.
Earlier, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said he wants a self-regenerating pension plan for both the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.
“We’re working hard on making sure that we have a pension plan both for the AFP and for the police,” Mr. Marcos said.
The President said he wanted both the AFP and the PNP to have a self-sustaining pension plan to avoid a scenario where there will be no more funds intended for their benefits.
Mr. Marcos said these funds could start to shrink in five to six years as the government continues to re-evaluate the pension system for the military and police to avert a possible fiscal collapse.
“So even before that happens, we are taking preemptive steps. We are designing a better system,” he said.
Earlier, Defense officer-in-charge Carlito Galvez Jr. appealed to senators to consider the morale and welfare of the troops in tackling the proposed new pension system for MUP retirees.
“In fact, the President also gave an instruction that he is very much concerned about the impact of this on the morale and welfare of the army personnel and policemen, and he wanted that there should be a continuous discussion to have a common ground,” Galvez said.
Galvez said 70 to 80 percent of the enlisted personnel were eyeing early retirement to avail themselves of the current pension system.
“We should really look at the middle ground so that we can see that the morale and welfare of our people will be taken care of,” Galvez said.