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GSIS issues guidelines in processing survivorship benefits of Muslim members, pensioners

Date Posted: Nov. 25, 2019

The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) has issued Policy and Procedural Guidelines (PPG) No. 334-19 to ensure uniform processing of survivorship benefit claims of its Muslim members and pensioners.

“GSIS recognizes the Muslim unique culture. Thus, the processing of survivorship benefits for deceased Muslim members and pensioners is now institutionalized,” GSIS Chairman and Acting President and General Manager Rolando Ledesma Macasaet said.

Previously, the eligibility and extent of entitlement of the beneficiaries of GSIS Muslim members and pensioners to survivorship benefit under Republic Act No. 8291 (GSIS Act of 19917) was based on the Civil Code of the Philippines.

Presidential Decree No. 1083 (Code of Muslim Personal Laws), however, directs the State to consider Muslim customs, traditions, beliefs, and interests in formulating and implementing policies.

The newly issued PPG recognizes that Muslims are allowed by law to have up to four wives at a time; provides clear policies in processing and distributing survivorship benefit, which includes cash payment and survivorship pension; outlines the documentary requirements; and consolidates existing and applicable policies on survivorship benefits.

Survivorship benefit of a deceased Muslim member or pensioner (old-age or disability) will be paid in the following order: primary beneficiaries, secondary beneficiaries, or legal heirs.

Primary beneficiaries are dependent surviving wives of a deceased male Muslim member/pensioner or dependent surviving spouse of a deceased female Muslim member/pensioner. They also include their five youngest minor dependent children or those who are of major age but with mental or physical incapacity that was acquired prior to reaching the age of majority.

The grant of survivorship benefits to spouses must be based on marriages between Muslims contracted under PD 1083; a marriage where only one of the parties is a Muslim, provided that it is solemnized in Muslim rites; or a marriage contracted by a Muslim male prior to the effectivity of PD 1083 in accordance with the Civil Code, provided that spouses register their mutual consent for the marriage to be considered as one contracted under PD 1083.

Secondary beneficiaries are dependent parents and legitimate descendants, subject to restrictions on dependent children. They are entitled to the benefit only if there are no primary beneficiaries.

In the absence of both primary and secondary beneficiaries, legal heirs are entitled to the benefit in this order: paternal grandparents; full siblings; consanguine brother and sister; and uterine brother or sister.

The survivorship benefits must be divided equally among the legal wives. The dependent pension must be given to a maximum of five youngest minor children from different legal wives.

If a Muslim retiree dies within the five-year period after receiving a five-year lump sum, the survivorship pension shall be paid only after the end of the said period. Claims for survivorship benefit and funeral benefits should be filed within four years from the member’s date of death.