Date Posted: 2010-01-04 11:56:39

The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) said it welcomes any inquiry the Senate would make on its pension disbursement schedule, stressing that payment of said benefit has, in fact, been fast tracked under the current GSIS management.

The System said that even before the term of GSIS President and General Manager Winston F. Garcia, pension benefit has always been sent on the last day of the month. But since the GSIS started crediting this benefit directly to the pensioners' eCard Plus ATM account, the GSIS has been able to send the pension way before the end-of-the-month deadline often two to three weeks ahead of schedule. The GSIS processes pension in the first week of the month to ensure that pension benefits are received on or before the end of each month.

"The GSIS is ready to face our esteemed senators to explain the improvement in the disbursement of pension benefit under the present management" the pension fund said.

Apart from timely disbursement of pension benefits, the GSIS has also made it easier for pensioners to get their monthly pension by disbursing said benefits through the eCard Plus, which also functions as an ATM card.

Today, pensioners can withdraw their monthly pension through any of the 6,000 Bancnet, Megalink, and Expressnet ATMs nationwide. Moreover, pensioners abroad can also withdraw their monthly pension from any ATM under the VISA PLUS network in the currency of the country where they are in.

The GSIS has also requested Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero, who recently claimed that GSIS pension payment has been delayed, to provide it with any data so the System can look into the matter.

"If Sen. Escudero has any knowledge of pensioners whose pension disbursement has been delayed, we ask him to provide us their names and their respective birthdays so we can investigate the matter and make the appropriate action" the GSIS said.

The System fund also assured Sen. Escudero that the GSIS remains apolitical in the way it delivers service to its members and pensioners.

"The GSIS has never, ever bowed to political pressures. It will never sacrifice its policies and the welfare of its members and pensioners for political concessions" the GSIS said.

The pension funds said pensioners have always been its top priority, as several programs have been put in place to ensure monthly receipt of their pension. One such program includes a more convenient way of yearly renewing their active status.

Today, a pensioner can renew his/her active status through the GSIS Wireless Automated Processing System (G-W@PS) kiosk with the use of the eCard Plus. G-W@PS kiosks are installed in all GSIS servicing office and selected government agencies.

Pensioners can also renew their active status by calling the GSIS Teleservice domestic toll free number (1-800-10-847-4747 for Smart and PLDT, and 1-800-8-847-4747 for Globe numbers) if the pensioner has already enrolled in the GSIS Voice Activated Processing System or GVAPS. Also, pensioners abroad can renew their active status using the GVAPS by calling the numbers 632-976-0860 or 632-884-7400.

Meanwhile, for pensioners who are bedridden or unable to leave their homes, they can coordinate with the GSIS for a home visit arrangement.

On the average, the GSIS disburses some P1.5 billion in pension benefits every month. Last year, it released a total of P15.2 billion in pension benefits. This amount even excludes the Christmas cash gift received by qualified pensioners.

Last December, the GSIS allotted P1.18 billion in Christmas cash gift to its pensioners, a growth of 27.6 percent from the P923 million budget allocated for the Christmas cash gift in 2007.

As an added benefit to pensioners, the GSIS also implemented a pension increase at the start of the year, enabling its pensioners to enjoy their retirement.

The GSIS has under its wing around 189,000 old-age pensioners and around 90,000 survivorship pensioners.