Lawmaker files bill mandating release of retirement benefits in 30 days

April 17, 2012 11:14 pm 

By Lilybeth G. Ison

MANILA, April 17 — Retiring officials and employees from the private and government sectors should get their retirement benefits within 30 days from retirement.

"This is what House Bill No. 621 seeks to achieve," said Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo "Sonny" Angara, principal author of the bill.

He expressed concern over the countless experiences of retirees who had to shed sweat, tears and wait for years before enjoying the fruits of their hard work.

The Aurora lawmaker said the prospect of retiring should be the most satisfying moment for every hardworking employee because he looks forward to spending as leisurely as possible the remaining days of his life.

In reality, he noted, many persons who have reached the retirement age find the prospect of retiring a discouraging experience because of the mere thought that they will not be getting salaries anymore.

"This is because of the experiences of many who encounter difficulty in finally getting their application approved either by the GSIS or SSS after," he pointed out.

Angara lamented that in some cases, delays happen just because of simple clerical errors, not by the employees, but by the employers or offices concerned.

"Such a clerical error could be ascertained by the SSS or the GSIS personnel if only they were mindful of the desired needs of the retiring members to get immediately their retirement benefits and pensions," he said.

"We have heard the complaints of numerous retiring members from the GSIS and the SSS who appealed for assistance from our office to intervene for them so that their retirement benefits and pensions could be paid to them as early as possible," he added.

HB 621, now under consideration by the House committee on government enterprises and privatization, mandates that the payment of retirement benefits to Social Security System (SSS) and Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) members should be given within a maximum period of 30 days from the date of his or her retirement.

"Violation of this mandatory provision makes such responsible employees criminally liable for which they could be sentenced to a one-year imprisonment plus a fine of P10,000," he said. (PNA)



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