This article discusses about the grant of retirement benefit under the Social Security Act of 2018, to retirees who still wish to continue employment.
Retirement Benefit Governed by the Social Security Act of 2018
Republic Act No. 11199 otherwise known as the Social Security Act of 2018 regulates the grant of retirement benefit or pension to eligible members of the Social Security System. Availment of retirement benefits depend on whether the member-applicant qualifies. Section 12-B of the Social Security Act of 2018 governs the grant of retirement benefit to members:
“Section 12-B. Retirement Benefits. –
(a) A member who has paid at least one hundred twenty (120) monthly contributions prior to the semester of retirement and who: (1) has reached the age of sixty (60) years and is already separated from employment or has ceased to be self-employed; or (2) has reached the age of sixty-five (65) years, shall be entitled for as long as he lives to the monthly pension: Provided, That he shall have the option to receive his first eighteen (18) monthly pensions in lump sum discounted at a preferential rate of interest to be determined by the SSS.
(b) A covered member who is sixty (60) years old at retirement and who does not qualify for pension benefits under paragraph (a) above, shall be entitled to a lump sum benefit equal to the total contributions paid by him and on his behalf: Provided, That he is separated from employment and is not continuing payment of contributions to the SSS on his own.
(c) The monthly pension shall be suspended upon the reemployment or resumption of self-employment of a retired member who is less than sixty-five (65) years old. He shall again be subject to Section Eighteen and his employer to Section Nineteen of this Act.
(d) Upon the death of the retired member, his primary beneficiaries as of the date of his retirement shall be entitled to receive the monthly pension: Provided, That if he has no primary beneficiaries and he dies within sixty (60) months from the start of his monthly pension, his secondary beneficiaries shall be entitled to a lump sum benefit equivalent to the total monthly pensions corresponding to the balance of the five-year guaranteed period, excluding the dependents’ pension.
(e) The monthly pension of a member who retires after reaching age sixty (60) shall be the higher of either: (1) the monthly pension computed at the earliest time he could; have retired had he been separated from employment or ceased to be self-employed plus all adjustments thereto; or (2) the monthly pension computed at the time when he actually retires.”
Classes of Retirees under the Social Security Act of 2018
From this provision of law, two (2) classes of retirees are mentioned. The first class of retirees are voluntary retirees, members who must have reached sixty (60) years old and are already separated from employment or have ceased to be self-employed. The second class of retirees are compulsory retirees, members who are at least sixty-five years of age. No other qualification is added by the Social Security Act of 2018 on compulsory retirees.
Additional Classes of Retirees under other laws
In addition, the Implementing Rules and Regulations enacted by the Social Security Commission, which implements the Social Security Act of 2018, adds three (3) more classes of retirees which are provided under special laws, namely:
a) Voluntary retirees, who are underground mineworkers, members who are at least 55 years old effective 13 March 1998, or members who are at least fifty (50) years old, effective 27 April 2016, as provided under Republic Act Nos. 8558 and 10757, respectively;
b) Compulsory retirees, who are underground mineworkers or surface mineworkers, members who are at least sixty (60) years old, as provided under Republic Act Nos. 8558 and 10757, respectively
c) Compulsory retirees, who are racehorse jockeys, members who are at least 55 years old effective 24 May 2016, as provided under Republic Act No. 10789.
Can an SSS Pensioner still continue Work and Avail his or her Retirement Benefit at the same time?
It depends on which class of retirees the member/would-be pensioner belongs to. As stated in Section 12-B of the Social Security Law of 2018, the SSS retirement may be availed by voluntary retirees or compulsory retirees. The difference between the two (2) must be underscored. Apart from the clear age distinction, which is at least sixty (60) years for voluntary retirees, and at least sixty-five (65) years for compulsory retirees, and payment of at least one hundred twenty (120) monthly contributions prior to the semester of retirement, the Social Security Law of 2018 adds an additional qualifier for members who would like to avail of the SSS Pension under the provision for voluntary retirement. For voluntary retirees, the member applicant must not only be at least sixty (60) years old, but must already be “separated from employment or has ceased to be self-employed”. On the other hand, for compulsory retirees, no such qualification, in addition to the age requirement and minimum contribution made, is mandated for the compulsory retiree to be entitled to the SSS Pension.
Therefore, voluntary retirees cannot avail of the SSS Pension and at the same time continue employment or self-employment. In contrast, a compulsory retiree is entitled to the SSS Pension, as a matter of right, upon reaching the age of sixty-five (65) years, regardless of whether the member is employed or not. In conclusion, if the retiree is at least sixty-five (65) years, he or she can avail of the SSS pension at the same time, resume employment or self-employment.
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