SSS for OFW

In our neighborhood, a compound of about 15 homes, more than half have family members working abroad as OFWs.  Last Christmas, almost all of them came home to spend the holidays in the Philippines.  And for the first time in a long time, our neighborhood was once again alive with laughter and endless kwentuhan, some even lasting until the wee hours of the morning. Sabi nga ng kapitbahay namin, titiisin nila ang lungkot ng mga ilang buwan, minsan taon pa, dahil wala naman kapantay ang saya kapag dumadalaw ang mga kapamilya nilang nagta-trabaho sa malayo.  I can’t help but agree.

Like ordinary private employees in the country, OFWs are also entitled to social security protection and benefits from the Social Security System (SSS).  Often, OFWs overlook or disregard their SSS membership thinking that they can save on their own anyway.  Others think that being an OFW actually disqualifies you from being an SSS member that is why, they cease making SSS contributions or updating their statuses.

The SSS has gone far and wide in educating the public about the importance of ensuring that you are gainfully protected against the hazards of illnesses, disability, maternity, retirement and old age, and even death.  Bilang mga “bread winners”, whether you have your own family or you are single but stands as the head of your family, hindi dapat huminto ang maginhawang buhay ng iyong pamilya dahil lamang hindi mo kayang mag-trabaho dahil sa sakit o nabawasan ang kakayanan mong mag trabaho dahil mayroon kang karamdaman o nag retire ka na.  Kung ang SSS ang sandigan ng mga employees at self-employed individuals dito sa Pilipinas, ganun din dapat ang tingin ng mga OFWs dito.

May SSS benefits nga ba ang mga OFW?

Let me share my research on this topic that is especially dedicated to our modern-day heroes.

Ang bawat OFW ay entitled sa Regular OFW Coverage Program ng SSS.  Ito ang itinuturing na first layer of protection para sa mga kababayan nating nagta-trabaho sa ibang bansa.  Sinisiguro nito na mayroong tatanggapin na pension ang mga OFWs pagkatapos nilang mag retire.

Ang pangalawang layer of protection ng SSS para sa mga OFW ay ang SSS Flexi-Fund Program. Narito ang summary ng mga features ng programa na ito:

  • Gives returns that are higher than fixed-income instruments.
  • Tax-free
  • Low cost of investing
  • No annual management fees
  • You can pay whenever it’s convenient for you:
    • No interest fees in case you miss a payment
    • No payment deadlines
  • Can be paid anytime (whether annual, semi-annual, quarterly, or intermittently)
  • Can be withdrawn anytime, in partial or in full.
    • May pre-termination charges kapag nag withdraw ang member bago maka kumpleto ng isang taon; pero pagkatapos nito, maaari nang mag withdraw anytime.

Ano ang guaranteed benefits ng Flexi-fund Program para sa mga OFWs?

  • Average of SSS’ short-term placements o ang 91-day Treasury Bill rate.
  • Annual incentive benefit on top of the guaranteed benefit.
    • Para sa mga hindi nag-withdraw sa loob ng isang taon.
    • Ito ay nagbabago depende sa long-term bond placements.

Papano ko ma-enjoy ang investments ko sa Flexi-fund after my retirement?

May tatlong options ang investor to get their Flexi-fund earnings:

  • One-time lump sum
  • Part lump-sum, part pension
  • By annuity or converting everything into pension. This option allows you to received two kinds of pensions: one from the regular SSS fund and one from the OFW Flexi-fund.

Papano ako magi-invest sa SSS Flexi-fund?

  • Optional ang enrollment sa SSS Flexi-fund; hindi ito mandatory tulad ng Regular OFW coverage.  Ang Flexi-fund program ay exclusive para lamang sa mga OFW.
  • Kung dati ka nang SSS member (may SSS number na at nagco-contribute na sa SSS), kailangan mo lang i-reactivate ang iyong membership bilang isang OFW.
  • Kung OFW member ka na at nagbabayad ng maximum monthly salary credit for OFWs, pwede ka nang mag enroll sa Flexi fund program.
  • Visit the SSS website at sss.gov.ph at mag download ng kopya ng Flexi Fund Enrollment Form.  Fill out the form and send it to ofw.relations@sss.gov.ph.  Hintayin ang mga email notifications o tawag ng SSS.
  • Kung nahinto ang iyong mga contributions ng mahabang panahon, hindi mo kailangang mag back pay o bayaran lahat ng mga taon na hindi ka nakapag contribute.  Kailangan mo lang ituloy ang contributions mong muli.

Papano kung hindi pa ako OFW member ng SSS?

Pumunta lamang sa pinaka malapit na SSS branch at kumuha ng Overseas Worker Record Form (SSS Form OW-1). Fill out the form at mag submit ng kahit na alin sa mga sumusunod na documents at IDs:

Huwag pabayaan ang iyong SSS contributions kahit na isa ka nang OFW.  Hindi matatawaran ang peace of mind lalo na’t mas mataas ang risks na hinaharap ng isang tao na nagta-trabaho sa ibang bansa.  Consider investing in SSS’ Flexi-fund Program as a means to prepare for your future.

Source:

http://www.ofwguide.com/article_item-1898/SSS-Benefits-for-OFWs.html