Pension scheme includes shelter

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (PNA photo by Rey Baniquet)

A housing scheme will be included in the retirement benefits of uniformed personnel based on the proposed package that President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is supporting.

The Chief Executive mentioned the creation of a housing program that will be mandated for all uniformed personnel.

“We are also putting together a program for housing for the uniformed services, the police, and the AFP. I think we will be able to do it, and maybe we can tie it up with the pension,” Marcos said.

“There are many measures to ensure that it won’t be too burdensome for soldiers and the police,” he added.

The shelter benefit will be part of the “self-regenerating” pension scheme being developed for both the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Such a replenishing fund will avoid a scenario where funds will be depleted, the Chief Executive indicated.

Pensions to be self-generating

President Marcos made the statement after signing the Republic Act or RA 11939, which raises the retirement age for officers from 55 to 57 and limits the number of terms of service for senior AFP officials.

The President added that he wanted to prevent a situation in which there would be no more money in the government coffers for their pensions.

“We are still in the midst of putting together the pension plans,” Marcos Jr. told reporters in a chance interview in Ilocos Norte.

“We’re working hard on making sure that we have a pension plan both for the AFP and the police that it would be self-sustaining,” he said.

Marcos added these funds might begin decreasing in five to six years as the government continues to review the military and police pension systems to prevent a potential fiscal collapse.

“So while that hasn’t happened yet, we are trying to preempt it. We are designing a better system,” he added.

Months after Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno pushed for reform of the military and uniformed personnel pension system, the Department of National Defense issued a warning about a potential mass retirement among uniformed employees to secure their benefits.

Diokno previously referred to the MUP pension system as “unsustainable” since the current system is “fully funded by the government… but there is no contribution from retirees.”

“When the salary of the Armed Services doubled in 2018, this also reflected in the pension of retired personnel,” Diokno said in his recent press conference in Malacañang.

According to Marcos, raising the retirement age for military soldiers from 55 to 57 years old was not due to the imminent collapse of the MUP pension system.

“The recruits are older now because of K-12, they come in two years later so we should adjust the retirement,” he said.

“This takes care of the problem of seniority and the promotions we’re doing, where if those at the top stay for too long, there’s no chance for those who follow,” Marcos added.

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