The Social Security System (SSS) introduces the Worker’s Investment and Savings Program (WISP) Plus, its newest retirement savings scheme for SSS members.
In a press briefing, SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Michael G. Regino explained WISP Plus is a voluntary retirement savings program offered exclusively to SSS members in addition to its regular social security program.
“We have been spearheading the concept of work, save, invest, and prosper to our members. WISP Plus is a program both for saving and investing. It is an affordable and tax-free savings scheme which will allow our members to save by contributing to the program and invest because their money will generate earnings,” Regino said.
The SSS Chief further elaborated that WISP Plus serves as an additional layer of social security protection apart from the retirement benefits that they will receive from the regular SSS program until their retirement.
“For as low as P500 per payment, SSS members can already contribute to the WISP Plus and pay their contribution anytime. We offer our members investment earnings based on rates higher than those provided by banks,” he added.
WISP Plus would cater to all SSS members, regardless of their membership type, declared monthly earnings, and last posted monthly salary credit (MSC).
The current WISP is another provident fund program which is compulsory for SSS members who are contributing to the regular program under the MSC that exceeds P20,000. It was mandatorily implemented in January 2021 as part of the amendment in the SS Law last 2018.
Interested SSS members could join WISP Plus by accepting the terms and conditions of the program using their My.SSS account. They can only apply for WISP Plus once, and membership in the program has no expiration.
Moreover, they should not have filed any final benefit claim, such as retirement or total disability benefits, to qualify for the program.
Regino added that individuals who applied for their SS number online through the SSS website could easily enroll in the program after receiving their respective SS numbers.
At present, SSS is already implementing two voluntary provident fund programs—the Flexi-fund Program for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) residing overseas, and the Personal Equity and Savings Option (PESO) Fund offered to members living in the Philippines and paying the maximum monthly contributions. The two programs will eventually be part of the WISP Plus.
Meanwhile, Regino also announced during the press briefing that starting January 1, 2023, the new SSS contribution rate will be 14 percent, a 1 percentage point increase from the current 13 percent. This is part of the implementation of the Social Security Act of 2018, and this will also be advantageous to the SSS members in the form of higher benefits.
For employed members, their employers will shoulder the 1 percent increase in the contribution rate. On the other hand, individual paying members, such as self-employed, voluntary, non-working spouse, and OFW members, will shoulder the whole contribution rate since they have no employers.
He also noted that at the same time, SSS will adjust the minimum and maximum monthly salary credits (MSCs), which will serve as the basis for the monthly contribution of a member. The minimum MSC will become P4,000 from the current P3,000 to P4,000 while the maximum MSC will be increased to P30,000 from the current P25,000.