The Social Security System (SSS) released a record-breaking amount of P5.95 billion in pension loans in 2022, it said on Tuesday.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Rolando Ledesma Macasaet said the amount of pension loans disbursed in the previous year nearly doubled the P3.08-billion figure recorded in 2021.

The amount was also the highest disbursement for the Pension Loan Program (PLP) since its inception in 2018.

“From January to December 2022, the SSS has disbursed a monthly average of P495.77 million pension loans benefitting 10,660 retiree-pensioners, which is 93 percent higher than its corresponding monthly average in 2021 of P257.01 million to 5,753 retiree-pensioners,” the SSS president said.

“We are delighted that we have assisted many of our retiree-pensioners for their short-term and immediate financial needs. We also prevent them from becoming victims of private lending institutions that charge high interest rates and require them to surrender their ATM cards as collateral,” he added.

Macasaet also mentioned that there was an increase in the number of applicants for the PLP as the government loosened Covid-19 quarantine restrictions throughout the country.

“Our records show that a total of 127,920 retiree-pensioners availed from the PLP in 2022, which is 85 percent higher than the 69,036 retiree-pensioners who availed of the program in 2021,” Macasaet said.

The PLP was introduced by the SSS to assist its pensioners with their financial requirements by offering a loan program with an annual interest rate of 10 percent.

Macasaet said the SSS ensures that the pensioners would still receive a net take-home pension of at least 47.25 percent of their monthly pensions.

“Qualified retiree-pensioners can avail themselves of a loan equivalent to three, six, nine, or 12 times their basic monthly pension plus the P1,000 additional benefit granted in 2017, but not exceeding P200,000,” he added. John Ezekiel J. Hirro