When overseas Filipino workers are able to earn good money for their families, they may get caught up with having to do their jobs, sending remittances, and everything else they have to juggle in order to survive while supporting their loved ones back home.
Sometimes, that does mean they are unable to put money away for the future, which is important since they can’t keep working while living so far away from their families forever.
Investing a portion of that money into a fund is a good way to secure one’s future, especially if deposited consistently. Where you can invest it may be hard to determine with all of the options out there and how perilous the endeavor may seem.
However, there is one option that ordinary Filipinos may be able to rely on—the SSS Flexi-fund.
What is SSS Flexi-fund?
The Flexi-fund is an investment option offered by SSS to OFWs exclusively. The main advantage you get for investing in SSS Flexi-fund over banks and other investments is that it’s tax-free. It was created to help OFWs save and grow money they have saved up without having to worry about it being deducted.
It is computed based on average rates of short-term placements or 91-day Treasury Bills (TB), whichever is higher.
The earnings are credited every end of the month through compounded interest, and they are subject to quarterly repricing, making them reflect current Philippine market conditions. They are also subject to grants from Annual Incentive Benefits (AIB) if you’re qualified, meaning that you get more the higher your equity is.
All things considered, there are a lot of benefits to investing in the SSS Flexi-fund. It is not as risky as other investments as they are invested in T-Bills and short-term fixed-income instruments.
With this, OFWs are able to save their money and be able to make it grow through the SSS Flexi-fund.
How to Open SSS Flexi-fund as an OFW
Before you can register for the SSS Flexi-fund, you must first meet some requirements.
- You must be an active Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW).
- You must be an SSS member paying the maximum contribution of PHP 1,760 monthly.
If you meet these criteria, then you should be able to enroll in SSS Flexi-fund.
You can obtain a form, fill it out, and submit it to an SSS branch, service office, or representative office near you.
You may also download the SSS Flexi-Fund application form here and send your application via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are enrolling locally, you should also include a photocopy of a valid Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) or E-receipt issued by the POEA as proof of your pending deployment.
How to pay your SSS Flexi-Fund Investment
Once you have enrolled in the Flexi-fund, you can then make your contributions by adding more to your maximum SSS contributions, which is on top of PHP 1,760. That excess should not be any lower than PHP 200, and that goes automatically into your Flexi-fund account. You may deposit as much as you wish into your Flexi-fund for investment.
How to withdraw your SSS Flexi-Fund Investment
There are three ways you may use the money in your SSS Flexi-fund account. If you need it right away, you may do an early withdrawal at any time, although that will also entail a pre-termination fee if your account had only been open for less than a year.
You may also avail of Annual Incentive Benefits, which may be declared depending on the fund’s year-end net income. The AIB amount will then be posted to the members’ accounts who have not done a full withdrawal claim or benefit for that year. That amount is also dependent on shares to total equity of all qualified members.
Finally, there’s the retirement, disability, and death benefits. This is what the Flexi-fund was intended for, and you may avail of the funds that have accrued interest through monthly pension, lump sum, or combination of both upon contingency. The program stays true to its name of being a flexible fund as it gives its members a variety of options.
Can I continue my SSS Flexi-fund Contributions even if I’m not an OFW anymore?
Yes. An OFW-member may continue paying his SSS Flexi-fund contributions even after the termination of his
employment contract abroad/overseas, provided that he continues to pay the required maximum monthly contribution. Take note that the payment of contributions shall cease upon filing of a final claim under the regular SSS program.
Why should I invest in SSS Flexi-Fund and in SSS as a whole?
- The amount of Flexi-fund benefit shall be the accumulated contributions plus interest earnings minus management fees, to be provided tax-free.
- A member is entitled to receive his benefits upon retirement (has reached age 60 or 65) or in the event of total disability – either in a lump sum, pension or combination.
- Upon the death of an SSS member or pensioner, his beneficiary/ies shall receive a lump sum equivalent to the benefit amount or cash value of the remaining pension (contingency date same as in regular program).
- A member may opt for early withdrawal of his Flexi-fund contributions in a lump sum, including net interest earnings, anytime.
- Annual Incentive Benefits may also be granted to members who have no benefit or withdrawal claims filed within the year.
- The individual AIB shall be automatically credited to the member’s Flexi-fund account and shall form part of his accumulated funds.
The SSS Flexi-fund is a boon for those who are trying to do their best for their loved ones while securing their own futures at the same time. Putting money away is always a good idea, and having a reliable program like Flexi-fund for OFWs to turn to greatly helps with their financial situation in the long run.
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