Naga City, Camarines Sur- Daniel Lacson Jr, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), today assured that the money entrusted to the state pension fund by its more than 1.3 million active members is “safe and in good hands”.
Lacson, together with Robert G. Vergara, President and General Manager, convened a dialogue in Naga, attended by more than 200 of its stakeholders representing pensioners, retirees, and government employees’ associations, as part of its continuing effort to reach out and inform them of the initiatives the new GSIS launched toward the goal of achieving service-responsiveness.
In his message, Lacson said the current GSIS Board and Management “will be more consultative, transparent and member-focused.”
For his part, Vergara outlined the initiatives launched by the current leadership to attain this goal which include:
- expanded partnership with the Land Bank to include pensioners and active members;
- deployment of 500 additional GWAPS (GSIS Wireless Automated Processing System) kiosks across the country;
- cancellation of the annual renewal of active status for local pensioners;
- relaxing the entitlement qualifications for survivorship pension;
- grant of the option to retirees to choose the repayment scheme for outstanding service loan accounts upon retirement (Choice of Loan Amortization Schedule for Pensioners)
- “unclipping” of home loans from the retirement or separation benefits; and
- partnership with the Pag-IBIG Fund for more efficient implementation of the direct home lending program.
“The bottom-line really is to provide the most responsive service and bring this closer to our members and pensioners so we can regain their trust and confidence,” Vergara said.
The pension fund chief also informed the more than 200 attendees to the dialogue, that the GSIS recently revised its emergency loan program and made it more member-friendly.
“We reduced the interest rate from 8% to 6%, waived the 1% service fee and extended the first amortization payment to three months after the loan drawdown.”
“Our members can conveniently file for an emergency loan through our GWAPS kiosks which we installed all across the country.”
GSIS also plans to further deploy portable kiosks in the first semester of the year, which can be rapidly set up anytime, anywhere, particularly in areas stricken by calamities.
Vergara admitted that among the concerns of members, the posting and reconciliation of accounts is taking some time but “at the moment, 97% of members’ remittances are now being posted accurately”.
He assured that the pension fund is doing everything to address the volume in inaccurate statements including the creation of nine separate task forces and the deployment of all resources to resolve this long-standing issue.
In the next six months, the new GSIS will focus on the following:
- design of a new insurance policy with component of bigger savings;
- review of the premium-based policy;
- review of pre-need funeral and educational plans;
- establishment of a 50-seater, 24/7 call center by the first quarter of 2012; and
- adoption of a one-stop shop set-up in all field offices
“We will regain the trust and confidence of our stakeholders the only way we know how – one member at a time, one pensioner at a time and one day at a time,” Vergara said.