Being an OFW is hard. You are away from your family, unaware of how your children are growing.
It’s hard to look after them while you are far away. How are they doing in school? Are they being bullied? Is everything alright?
And to make matters worse, there would come a time when you would leave that foreign country and come back home. When you no longer can work efficiently, it’s time to end the contracts and go back to your family. But how are you going to make a living after that? Especially since landing a good-paying job in our country is not that easy.
When you no longer can work efficiently, it’s time to end the contracts and go back to your family.
But how are you going to make a living after that especially since landing a good-paying job in our country is not that easy.
The good news is that there is now the SSS Flexi Fund. OFWs can now receive incentives and benefits, in which you can save up for the program so you have something when you retire.
What is the SSS Flexi Fund?
The Flexi Fund Program was first introduced about 16 years ago in 2001. It offers an extra level of financial security to OFWs who are members of the SSS paying the monthly contributions by enabling them to remit additional savings of P200 or above.
On June, last year, the Social Security System (SSS) distributed a total of P13.5 million in annual incentive benefits (AIB) to more than 40,000 qualified OFWs enrolled in the SSS Flexi Fund Program.
This funding program aims to encourage OFWs to save money in order to supplement their retirement needs later on in the future.
“The good news is that more Flexi-fund members are choosing to further increase their savings for their future. The SSS, thru the Flexi-fund, is here to help OFWs achieve long-term financial security by providing a safe and secure savings facility for their hard-earned income from overseas work,” said Judy Frances A. See.
She is the SSS Senior Vice President for Account Management Group and concurrent International Divisions Head.
How to apply for SSS Flexi Fund?
To apply, you must first fill out the Flexi Fund Enrollment Form. This form is available in the SSS website and can be printed and filled out at home.
It is also available on SSS branches. Afterwards, submit you filled out form to SSS branches near you, whether local or foreign.
You would need to present you UMID/SSS ID card or valid passport for proper identification.
If you are enrolling on a local SSS branch, you would need to present and submit the original and photocopy of valid Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) or e-receipt issued by POEA as proof of pending deployment.
In case that the latest maximum contribution is not yet posted, you need to present a validated proof of payment.
How do I remit my Flexi Fund Contributions?
The method to remit your Flexi Fund Contributions is the same method as you remit your monthly contributions as an OFW. Submit your SSS Contributions Payment Return Form after filling out the data needed.
Don’t forget to check that you are an OFW as a payer type. By adding excess funds into your monthly contributions, with the minimal of P200, the excess will then go to your Flexi Fund.
Do understand that the Flexi Fund is not required to be paid monthly like the monthly contributions.
You may also add cash to your Flexi Fund separately, whenever you want: monthly, quarterly, annually or anytime you want to. Hence, the name given to the funding program is Flexi (flexible).
But in order to avoid extra trouble, you can just pay it when paying for your monthly contributions.
What do I get from investing in SSS Flexi Fund?
Listed below are some of the different benefits that you get once you enroll for the SSS Flexi Fund program.
- Tax-exempt and guaranteed by the SSS
- Computed based on Average rates of SSS’ short term placements or 91-day TB (Treasury Bills), whichever is higher
- Subject to quarterly re-pricing, thus reflecting current market conditions in the Philippines
- Earnings are credited every month-end (compounded interest)
- Augmented by the granting of Annual Incentive Benefits to qualified members (the higher the equity, the higher the AIB amount)
Understand and keep in mind that your Flexi Fund, as an OFW is an investment. The more funds you add, the more you save, the fund will be invested
The more funds you add, the more you save. The fund will be invested in T-bills or short-term fixed income instruments.
Unlike other investments, there is no risk with setting up a Flexi Fund with SSS. You are guaranteed to earn from the money you are adding to the funds.
In case of emergency, your money from your Flexi Fund can be easily withdrawn. You may withdraw the money anytime that you want.
However, do understand that contributions that have stayed in the fund for a year are priced for pre-termination fee.
The annual incentive benefits (AIB) that comes with your Flexi Fund is also generally handy. This will be given out depending on the year-end net income. The cash will be wired to
The cash will be wired to the member’s bank accounts without full withdrawal claims/benefit of the year. This is distributed to the total amount of qualified members.
Other SSS Benefits
Being an SSS member also has its advantages. You are entitled to different benefits such as Maternity, Sickness, Retirement, Death and Disability Benefits.
If you are an OFW, it is better to apply as soon as you can and start building that funds up by saving and managing your salary wisely.
The SSS Flexi Fund greatly relies on your ability to manage your salary and the money you hold wisely.
Although it might be tough sending money to your relatives in the Philippines, all the while paying for your own expenses, it is always good to keep a few bucks as savings and let them grow.