Should You Rely Your Retirement on SSS/GSIS Pension Alone?

My grandfather died when I just entered my first year in college. That was a year after he persuaded me to take the scholarship exams entitled to all residents and high school graduates of my mother’s hometown in Pampanga. He was very patient that he even accompanied me throughout the application process. He even waited outside the examination venue until I finished.

The reason? I didn’t know much about the Kapampangan dialect except for “mekeni”, “nanung lagyu mu?”, “ebun”, “masanting”, “maragul”, “manyaman”, and…never mind. 😛 He had to be there for me to be my translator.  To speak the dialect was supposed to be a proof that I am a legitimate half-Kapampangan. A requirement to become eligible for the scholarship. But technically and biologically-speaking, I’m a Batangpangan (BatangueñoKapampangan) born in Manila.

To cut the story short, I passed the scholarship exam and went on to finish college with top honors. I placed 46th…among 55 students. 😛 And I owed everything both to my parents and to my departed grandfather for believing that I could get the scholarship and finish it.

“Save Up For Your Retirement”

This was what my grandfather told me during those days. Never understood it until recently.

He believed that if I graduated from Accountancy course, I would be able to land a good job, save up, and improve the financial condition of our family. Take note that the family here means the whole family tree from my mother’s side. I was the first among his grandchildren to finish college.

Well, my grandfather probably knew that he’d be gone soon. Knowing that he only had his SSS pension to leave as a legacy to my grandmother, perhaps he was trying to tell me that I should not rely on SSS alone to feed my future wife and my family in my old age or when the time comes when St. Peter calls me up.

Never Rely On Your SSS Retirement Benefit Alone

Did you know that you can not contribute more than Php1,560 a month for your SSS unless you are an employee in a Philippine company? Oh yes, you can add Php30 to your maximum monthly contribution if you are an employee.

Pension Funds and investments

So even if you contribute the maximum Php1,590 during your youthful days and you’re earning an average of Php15,000 per month, you will only get a monthly pension benefit of Php9,300 during your retirement years.

This is based on the formula stated in the SSS website:

The monthly pension depends on the members paid contributions, including the credited years of service (CYS) and the number of dependent minor children but not to exceed five. The amount of monthly pension will be the highest of:

1.) the sum of P300 plus 20 percent of the average monthly salary credit plus 2 per cent of the average monthly salary credit for each accredited year of service (CYS) in excess of ten years; or

2.) 40 per cent of the average monthly salary credit; or

3.) P1,200, provided that the credited years of service (CYS) is at least 10 or more but less than 20 or P2,000, if the CYS is 20 or more. The monthly pension is paid for not less than 60 months.

Tell me if that’s enough for you by that time.

Today, my 87-year young grandmother receives a monthly pension of Php3,400 as the primary beneficiary of my late grandfather who worked as a security guard for the Cojuangcos. (Now I co-own the companies owned by them through the stock market). That Php3,400 is not even enough to buy all her medicine.

I know, it’s a reminder to us all her children and grandchildren to continue supporting her medication and everything that she needs.

It’s also a wake-up call that we should not rely our retirement years on pension provided by SSS or GSIS alone. It’s a good start but it should never be our sole source of “income” for the remaining years of our lives. We have to invest in various financial instruments that earn more as early as possible (and just as important, get yourself insured).

That way, you will not only be able to help yourself and your family now and during your old age. You can even start helping others NOW.

“Consider this:  Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.  Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need, you may have an abundance for every good work..” – 2 Corinthians 9:6-8

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P.S. 4. From Bo Sanchez: We’ll Airdrop Food To Far-flung Towns – NEWS: From a chartered plane, hundreds of sacks of food and water will be airdropped to far-flung towns in Leyte. (The plane can’t land, so this is the only way. We’re also in touch with coordinators in the area to receive the airdrop.) Each sack will be enough for a family of 5 to eat for 3 days. The Alabang Feast is coordinating this bold project. All our other Feasts are collecting food/clothes/water and bringing them to the Alabang Feast in Festival Mall.  Thank you so much, Light of Jesus Family and all the Feasts who are making this happen.  Please pray because the Alabang Feast is also now contacting a helicopter company to help us airdrop more food. If this pushes through, we can airdrop 15 tons of food. 

PS. You can continue donating to Yolanda Victims…
Account Name – Light of Jesus Community Foundations Inc.
Bank Name – Metrobank
Branch – E-Rodriguez branch
Account # – 265-7-26551395-2

Please fax your deposit slip with your Feast name to Annie at 7268951 or email

Photo credit: Lady Wulfun