What Is SSS? A Comprehensive Overview To the Social Security System

What Is SSS? A Comprehensive Overview To the Social Security System


What is SSS

The Social Security System (SSS) in the Philippines, established under the Social Security Act of 1954 and refined by the amendments in 1997, serves as a crucial safety net for workers spanning private, professional, and informal sectors.

Governed by the Social Security Commission, its reach extends from sickness and maternity benefits to unemployment coverage, providing a robust replacement for income lost in the face of various contingencies.

Covered employees, self-employed, and voluntary members all share in this protective embrace, enjoying a comprehensive package under the Social Security and Employees’ Compensation Programs.

In this article, we will delve into the intricate layers of the Social Security System, examining how its provisions and distinctions impact the broader spectrum of employment security in the Philippines.


  • 1948: Back in 1948, when President Manuel Roxas was in charge, he wanted to help people who were struggling after the war. He had this idea of creating a social security program to support them, but sadly, he passed away before it could happen.
  • 1954: Fast forward to 1954, during President Ramon Magsaysay’s time, the Social Security Act became a law. However, it had some problems getting started because businesses and labor groups couldn’t agree on certain things.
  • 1957: Finally, in 1957, they made some changes to the law, and it began to work.
  • 1979: As time went on, more people were included in the program. In 1979, they added folks who worked for themselves.
  • 1990s: Then, in the 1990s, even farmers, fisherfolks, and household helpers were able to join.
  • 1997: In 1997, they improved the program by making benefits better, expanding coverage, and making the whole system more flexible.
  • 2018: Jumping ahead to 2018, there was another law that made it mandatory for both local and overseas Filipino workers to be part of the program.
  • 2016: By 2016, the program’s assets grew from a small amount to a whopping ₱474.7 billion, and it was helping over 34 million members.
  • 2017: In 2017, around 2.2 million pensioners saw their benefits go up, thanks to President Rodrigo Duterte’s approval.

So, that’s how the Social Security System we know today came into being, helping millions of Filipinos when they need it the most.

Roles and Responsibilities of SSS

The Social Security System is a Philippine government agency that provides social security protection to its members. The primary responsibilities of employers who have registered their employees with SSS are as follows:

  1. Require the presentation of the SS number of a prospective employee.
  2. Report all employees for SS coverage within thirty (30) days from the date of employment by submitting an accomplished Employment Report (SS Form R-1A) at the SSS servicing branch.
  3. Deduct from the employees the monthly SS contributions based on the schedule of contributions.
  4. Pay his share of contributions including Employees’ Compensation (EC) and remit these contributions to the Social Security System with tellering facilities or accredited banks within the first ten (10) calendar days following the month when said contributions are due and applicable.
  5. Submit a summary of all employees’ contributions thru Contribution Collection List (SS Form R-3) together with a copy of the Special Bank Receipt (SBR) and Contributions Payment Return (SS Form R-5) within 10 days after the applicable quarter.
  6. Issue official receipts and maintain official records of employment and deductions for all contributions deducted from the employees’ pay envelopes.
  7. Remit to the Social Security System all salary, educational, stocks investment or privatization loan amortization of his employees and submit an accomplished Monthly Salary/Calamity/Emergency/Stock Investment Loan Payment Return (SS Form ML-1) to any of the SSS accredited banks within the first ten (10) calendar days following the month when said amortizations are due and applicable.

Career Opportunities at SSS

The career opportunities within the Social Security System offer a diverse range of paths for individuals interested in public service and financial management. 

Social Security System provides employment opportunities in areas such as customer service, finance, information technology, legal, human resources, and more. 

Working at Social Security System can involve helping members access their benefits, managing financial operations, ensuring legal compliance, and developing innovative technology solutions. 

It’s a chance to contribute to the financial security and well-being of millions of Filipinos while gaining valuable experience and making a positive impact on society.

Membership requirements

  • He/she must be at least 15 years old.
  • Non-working persons are welcome.
  • In order for a member of Social Security System to claim a lifetime monthly pension, he must be at least 60 years old and he must have at least 120 monthly contributions.


Social Security System’ offices are located in 291 branches all over the country. There is an option to email or make a call to SSS’ branches. 

Members can utilize the toll-free number that is open on weekdays and online services for transactions such as securing SSS identification number and applying for loans, sickness and retirement benefits.

Challenges Faced by SSS

The Social Security System (SSS) is a Philippine government agency that provides social security protection to its members. The SSS was founded in 1957 and is mandated to provide retirement, health, disability, sickness, maternity, funeral, and death benefits to all paid-up employees in the Philippines.

While the SSS has been providing social security protection to its members for over six decades, it has faced several challenges over the years. Some of the most significant challenges faced by the SSS include:

  1. Low-Interest Rates: The Social Security program benefits from high-interest rates. However, rates have been persistently low for years now, which means that the Social Security program earns less money and becomes less solvent.
  2. Longer Retirements: Life expectancy in the Philippines is rising, which is generally a good thing. However, when it comes to the mathematics of Social Security, longevity is a killer. Longer lifespans result in higher total payouts, and as the Social Security fund isn’t an endless reservoir of cash, more money flowing out results in less money in the overall pool. This makes it more likely that future beneficiaries will receive a cut in payments at some point.
  3. Too Many Beneficiaries: The baby boomers are currently taking their toll on Social Security, with an estimated 70 million boomers retiring between 2010 and 2030. This amounts to a huge increase in the amount of Social Security beneficiaries. To properly pay out these beneficiaries based on the original formulas, additional revenue is needed by the program.
  4. Not Enough Workers: As the baby boom has pushed a significant increase of beneficiaries into the system, the worker-to-beneficiary ratio is falling. The Social Security Trustees expect the ratio to drop from its current 2.8 to 2.1 by 2035. If this ratio continues to drop — or even if it just remains at 2.1 — Social Security will essentially be permanently underfunded.

SSS’s Future Plans

The Social Security System (SSS) is a Philippine government agency that provides social security protection to its members. 

According to a recent article by CNN Philippines, the SSS is crafting a new pension scheme that will allow its members to build a bigger nest egg come their retirement. Once approved by the SSS policy-making body of commissioners, the monthly retirement pension will breach the current ₱20,000 ceiling, its top official said on Tuesday. 

The plan will not need an executive order from Malacañang or any congressional approval. “The pension will be increased from the current say 5 [thousand pesos], 10 [thousand pesos], to as high as 30,000… 40,000,” SSS President Rolando Macasaet told reporters. 

The SSS has set a timetable of two to three months to roll out the larger pension program, but the chief executive officer clarified that the higher pension scheme is voluntary.

In addition, the SSS has recently launched the Worker’s Investment and Savings Program (WISP) Plus, its newest retirement savings scheme for SSS members .


The Social Security System (SSS) in the Philippines is like a savings plan for workers. It helps you save money while you’re working so that when you get older or if something unexpected happens, you have some financial support.

Here are three helpful tips for aspiring jobseekers regarding SSS:

  • Start Early: When you get your first job, try to enroll in SSS right away. The earlier you start, the more you can save for your future. It’s like planting a money tree that will grow over time.
  • Regular Contributions: Make sure to pay your SSS contributions regularly. Think of it as setting aside a small portion of your salary each month. This will ensure you have a solid safety net when you need it later in life.
  • Stay Informed: Keep yourself updated about the SSS benefits and rules. Sometimes, there are changes in the system, and you don’t want to miss out on any new benefits or opportunities to save more.

Remember, SSS is there to help you have a more secure financial future. So, don’t hesitate to use it wisely, and you’ll reap the rewards when you need them most.


  1. Csiszar, John. (2021, June 23). The Biggest Problems Facing Social Security. GOBankingRates. https://www.gobankingrates.com/retirement/social-security/debt-free-future-biggest-problems-facing-social-security/
  2. ‌Social Security Benefits. (2019). Investopedia. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/social-security-benefits.asp
  3. Social Security System (Philippines). (2022, May 11). Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Security_System_(Philippines)
  4. SSS eyes higher monthly pension to help retirees build bigger nest egg. (n.d.). Cnn. Retrieved October 5, 2023, from https://www.cnnphilippines.com/news/2023/6/6/SSS-eyes-higher-montly-pension.html
  5. ‌SSS launches WISP Plus, the newest retirement savings scheme for members. (2022, December 15). PIA. https://pia.gov.ph/press-releases/2022/12/15/sss-launches-wisp-plus-the-newest-retirement-savings-scheme-for-members
  6. 15 SSS Responsibilities Every Employer Must Remember – Pinoy Negosyo. (2017, May 27). https://pinoynegosyo.net/15-sss-responsibilities-every-employer-must-remember-183.html#google_vignette