Every time I mention SSS I get tons of questions.
Here we go.
First, this is completely optional. You don’t have to pay for it. But if you can afford to, it’s a nice thing you can do for your OFS.
– SSS stands for Social Security System. It’s a state-run social insurance program where non-government Filipino workers are expected to contribute.
– Businesses with legal entities in the Philippines must contribute to the SSS. If you don’t have a legal entity in the Philippines, paying your Filipino’s SSS premiums is optional.
– If you want to give your OFS a benefit and can only afford to give one, I strongly recommend SSS. It’s one of those benefits that can help your OFS in so many ways for a long time.
– When they sign up for SSS, they also get a government-issued ID called UMID (universal multi-purpose ID). My team tells me it’s one of the few IDs recognized everywhere. Having a UMID would make it easier to open a bank account, verify their identity online, get a credit card, passport, or driver’s license, etc.
– When your OFS pays into it, it creates a pension fund they can use when they retire. This is also where they can get maternity, disability, and calamity benefits. (more on these in another email)
– SSS is also a way for Filipinos to take out easy loans. Most Filipinos take out an SSS loan first to establish credit. This SSS credit record is something that they can show to banks if they want to open a credit card or take out a bigger loan.
– Because you don’t have a business in the Philippines, you can’t pay directly to SSS. Your OFS must pay it themselves. When they do, they declare their contributions as “Voluntary” because it’s not associated with a Philippines business entity.
– So, how much do SSS premiums cost?
The premiums should be about 13% of their salary, but they can’t be more than Php3250 (approx USD $58) per month.
To make this simple, multiply your OFS monthly salary times 0.13. That’s their contribution amount. If your OFS makes more than $445/month, they should make the maximum contribution of $58/month. (13% of $445 is $58, and $58 is the max they’re allowed to contribute each month)
– You can pay for the entire contribution or just a portion. For Philippine companies, the standard practice is to pay for two-thirds of the contribution, and the worker pays a third.
That means you would pay the worker an extra $39/month for SSS. They would pay $19 out of pocket for SSS. Total = $58.
– They take the money you give them and pay it to their SSS account. Since this is voluntary, they can pay monthly, quarterly, or annually. At our company, we just add it to their monthly salary. We ask them for a receipt when they’ve paid it, so we know where the money is going. Another option is to ask for a screenshot of the member’s data record, they’ll find this in the SSS member’s portal.
– The amount they contribute determines the amount of benefits they’re eligible for. The bigger the contributions, the more money they’ll get for things like their maternity benefit, disability benefits, or pension.
– They can keep track of their contributions, apply for benefits and get loans through the SSS member portal or through the SSS mobile app.
– We have instructions for how your OFS pays their SSS. We provide this to them in their account on OnlineJobs.ph
PS. More info coming on other potential benefits in future emails