SSS to reduce retirement age for mine workers

QUEZON CITY --- The Social Security System (SSS) reduced the age for optional and technical retirement of both surface and underground mine workers from the previous retirement age of 55 years old to 50 years old in compliance with Department of Labor and Employment(DOLE) Department Order (DO) No.167 S-2016. SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel F. Dooc said that the new policy from SSS reduced the optional retirement to 50 years old and the technical or compulsory retirement to 60 years old for both underground and surface mineworkers. “We deemed it necessary to include both underground and surface mineworkers to ensure that social security protection is given to all kinds of mineworkers. We understand the danger of their work and we want them to enjoy the fruits of their hard-earned money as early as possible,” said Dooc. The DO is the order from DOLE implementing Republic Act 10757 otherwise known as “An Act Reducing the Retirement Age of Surface Mine Workers from Sixty (60) to Fifty (50) Years, Amending for the Purpose Article 302 of Presidential Decree No. 442, as Amended, Otherwise Known as the “Labor Code of the Philippines.” Based on the guidelines, surface mineworkers include only mill plant workers, electrical, mechanical and tailings pond personnel while underground mine workers are those employed to extract mineral deposits underground or whose workplace is beneath the ground. To qualify for the SSS retirement benefit, the surface or underground mineworker must have paid at least 120 monthly contributions prior to the semester of retirement. If the mineworker will retire at the age of 50, he should ensure that he has stopped working. “If the mineworker-member chooses the optional retirement of 50 years old, he must be separated from employment or has stopped working at the time he files his claim. Otherwise, he will not be allowed to file for retirement benefit or if his retirement claim is already granted, it will be suspended by SSS,” said Dooc. Aside from the number of contributions, the mineworker should have been employed and certified as underground and surface mineworkers by his employer who must be duly registered with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau. The certification must also include the workers position title and his job description. At the time of filing for retirement claim, the mineworker must have worked for at least five years, whether continuous or accumulated prior to the semester of retirement but the actual date of retirement should not be earlier than April 27, 2016— the date of effectivity of reduced retirement age. “We hope that with this new policy, the SSS will be able to extend the benefits that our members need as early as possible. We want our mineworkers to feel that we care for them and we want them to enjoy the money they saved with SSS,” said Dooc. For more details on the retirement claim application for underground and surface mineworkers, members may call the SSS Call Center at 920-6446 to 55 or email