How To Claim Your SSS Retirement Benefits
Who Are Qualified For SSS Retirement Benefits
According to the Social Security System Official Website, the SSS member is qualified to avail of retirement benefit of either in monthly pension or lump sum when they reached the retirement age and can no longer work. This means:
- Member is 60 years old, separated from employment or ceased to be self-employed, and has paid at least 120 monthly contributions prior to the semester of retirement.
- Member is 65 years old, whether employed or not, and has paid at least 120 monthly contributions prior to the semester of retirement.
- Underground Mineworkers:
- Aged 55 years old and is an underground mineworker for at least 5 years (either continuous or accumulated) prior to the semester of retirement but whose actual date of retirement is not earlier than March 13, 1998; separated from employment or has ceased self-employment; and has paid at least 120 monthly contributions prior to the semester of retirement.
- Aged 60 years old, whether employed or not, and has paid at least 120 monthly contributions prior to the semester of retirement
Retirement Application Requirements Found at SSS Website
I turned 60 recently and have separated from employment, did no self employment whatsoever and has paid even more than the required contribution of 120 months and therefore am qualified for retirement benefits.
At first I was at a lost on what to do, so I visited the website of sss.gov.ph to get some help on how to claim my retirement benefits. This link https://www.sss.gov.ph/sss/appmanager/pages.jsp?page=retirementapplication is helpful as it details the general application requirements. The page states;
- Retirement Claim Application
- DDR Signature Card
- DDR Savings Account form;
- Certificate of Separation from last employer (if member is less than 65 years old) ;
- Passbook or ATM Card (if pension);
A member must open a single savings account in the bank of his choice and submit to the SSS his savings account number and a photocopy of his passbook or ATM Card upon filing of his application. The original copy of the passbook must be presented for authentication purposes.
- Certified true copies of birth or baptismal certificate of dependent children;
- Certified of cessation of business or practice of profession (for self-employed members who are less than 65 years old);
- Certified true copy of marriage certificate
- Proofs of filiation for illegitimate dependent children
- UMID or SSS biometrics ID card or two (2) other valid IDs, both with signature and at least one (1) with photo and date of birth.
* Other supporting documents may be requested by SSS depending on the evaluation of the claim “
Important Things To Know About Your Other Requirements
1. If you found the requirements stated in the website not too clear to you, it is highly suggested that you better just visit the nearest SSS branch so they can give you the exact documents appropriate for your case. IT is better than just calling the SSS call center whose call center agents have limited information to give and can't really evaluate by phone.
3. But if you think you have already the necessary papers then bring them to the nearest SSS branch and don't expect that you are already done for it will all depend on the Member Service Representative’s evaluation of your papers and circumstances if they will still require additional requirements.
2. No need to download from SSS website the Retirement Claim Application and the DDR Signature Card because a set of those papers will be automatically handed to you after evaluation together with the Checklist of requirements. So I actually wasted some money for the printing of these downloadable papers that I found in their website
Just fill out the Retirement Claim Application and DDR Signature Card but don't ever make make a thumbmark yet as this has to be done in front of the Member Service Representative
3. Those retirees whose company is still active must make sure you have a letter of separation from your company together with the photocopy of the latest Company SSS Specimen Signature Card. My husband brought only Letter of Separation but was told it was not enough because they have to verify if the one who signed the letter of separation is the same authorized person in the SSS signature card so my husband had to go back to the company just to get this and another day wasted even after he waited for long to get served.
I wonder why they have to impose this when they can readily verify from their own file whether the signatory in the Letter of Separation matches with the Signatory Card of the Company. Anyways, as we could not complain, we had no choice by just follow.
This means you make sure that the one who signed your Separation Letter is the same person who has been authorized by your company to sign in all SSS transactions; otherwise they will not honor that paper, and also ask the copy of that Signatory Card from your company to avoid wasting time.
4. For retirees whose companies have ceased operating and it's already impossible to secure both the separation letter and updated Company Specimen Signature Card, a form of Affidavit of Separation will be provided by the Member Service Representative for you to fill out and get notarized.
There is one disadvantage if your company is closed but did not submit notice of closure with SSS. The SSS will still have to investigate if the office is really closed and it will take them a month or more to finish the investigation
Documentary Requirements I Actually Submitted
- The Accomplished Retirement Claim Application and Member's Claimant Signature Card with no thumbmarks yet.
- The notarized Affidavit of Separation from my last employer because my company has been closed for years already.
- 2 latest 1 x 1 picture - these will be attached by the MSR on your Signature Card.
- Original and photo copy of my SSS ID, [in the absence of this, you can submit any two valid ID’s such as Voter’s ID, passport, Driver’s license, Senior Citizen’s Card, Police or NBI clearance]
- Original and photocopy of my NSO Birth Certificate,
Take note that the Retirement Claim application will ask you to choose whether you want to receive the first 18 monthly pension in advance or not. If you don’t need that much money it is advisable not to get the first 18 months option because it will be subjected to tax unlike receiving the regular monthly pension which is intact and has no tax deduction.
And take note also that you should not accomplish and put thumb mark on the DDR Signature Card that will be given to you along with the Retirement Claim Application because the Member Service Representative will ask you to do with her assistance in front of her as soon as you have submitted the complete requirements.
After the Member Service Representative found your Evaluation satisfactory you will be given a letter of introduction to SSS accredited Bank so you can open a single savings account, or cash card or prepaid account whichever you prefer. This bank account is where your pension will be credited monthly for your withdrawal. Take note that you can’t open an account for this purpose without the Letter of Introduction so you can’t do this ahead of your Evaluation.
Final Step for Retirement Benefit Application
1. Bring the letter introduction to the nearest accredited bank of your choice. In my case the nearest one is BPI Family Savings Bank. An initial deposit of only 100 pesos will be required from you by the bank. After opening this bank account make sure you keep the copy of your Deposit Slip because the bank will ask for this. I saw a Claimant who did not bring the Deposit Slip so she was asked to just come back with the Deposit slip.
2. Have the ATM Card or any proof of that Bank Account photocopied together with deposit slip but the original copies will be required also for authentication.
3. Know the exact address of the bank so you know how to fill out the space on you application form about this information.
After doing the above, you are ready to go back to SSS with all the previously evaluated requirements needed. Make sure you have all your Birth Certificate and ID’s also photocopied so you will not be like other claimants who have to go back and forth because they have no photocopy of their SSS ID or other ID’s.
As you submit those papers, the Member Service Representative will check them again and if found fully compliant, you will be told to wait for 3 to 4 weeks for your money. You will then check your bank account when the time comes.
So you are done and have to just wait for the day you will receive your pension. You can also ask the Member Service Representative how much pension you can expect. He/she will give you an estimate although this will not be exact at least you will have an idea.
Just to give you a tip on how you will get paid, my husband's retirement age falls on June 13 and he was able to file claim for retirement and completed the requirements on June 17. Upon submission was told that he will have to wait for 3 to 4 months before checking the money on his bank account. On July 19 the money was credited to my husband's account and surprise of all surprised. He was paid more than what he was expecting. Upon checking with SSS he was told that what was credited to his account was for his June, July and August pension so a total of 3 months paid to him and he was told that from September onward he will start to receive the regular monthly amount only.
I hope this article has been helpful to you.
Personal Reminders When Visiting Your SSS Branch Office
1. Go early. Make sure you don’t go to SSS office late lest you don’t get entertained anymore. For retirement claim, they will entertain up to 70 claimants only. If they have already reached the quota there is no way for you to get a queue number.
In my case, I went there before 7:00 am because their office starts at 7:00 am and when I reached the branch office, I found outside the office, a long line of waiting people already so I went straight to line up with them. When the office opened at 7:00 all the waiting people were allowed entrance to the office but were asked to maintain the existing line for getting the queue number appropriate for a member’s type of transaction.
2. Retirement Claim Counters are slow moving so be patient and bring food and water with you so you don't get hungry or else you can opt to go out to get some food and drinks from stores nearby.
The number I got was number 27 and believe me I did not know that it will take more than half of my day before I was served. The next time I visited, I arrived in their office at 7:30 already so I got number 39 and it was already already 3:00 PM when the MSR was able to serve me.
The moving of line will all depend on the case of each claimant. Some claimants have problematic cases, so the MSR would sometimes spend so much time before finishing their cases. Also the MSR's have to take lunch break alternately so during their respective break time, the counters are left with just one servicing MSR and so the waiting people have no choice but wait longer.
3. Bring jacket or anything to cover yourself more. The counters were slow moving and the office was cold so I was happy that I brought jacket, otherwise it would had been a big discomfort on my part as I really waited long. So you might want to bring jacket also if in case your SSS branch office has powerful air-condition and you can't tolerate too much cold just like me.