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1 – SSS Coverage

1. Summary

▪ The SSS Law imposes compulsory coverage upon all employees, self-employed, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs)

▪ Voluntary coverage is allowed for spouses and Filipino permanent migrants

▪ Compulsory coverage of employees start from the first day of employment.

2. Compulsory coverage

a. Employees

Coverage in the SSS shall be compulsory upon all employees including kasambahays or domestic workers not over sixty (60) years of age and their employers:

Provided, That any benefit already earned by the employees under private benefit plans existing at the time of the approval of R.A. 11199 (a.k.a. Social Security Act of 2018, henceforth the “SSS Law”) shall not be discontinued, reduced or otherwise impaired:

Provided, further, That private plans which are existing and in force at the time of compulsory coverage shall be integrated with the plan of the SSS in such a way where the employers contribution to his private plan is more than that required of him in the SSS Law, he shall pay to the SSS only the contribution required of him and he shall continue his contribution to such private plan less his contribution to the SSS so that the employer’s total contribution to his benefit plan and to the SSS shall be the same as his contribution to his private benefit plan before the compulsory coverage:

Provided, further, That any changes, adjustments, modifications, eliminations or improvements in the benefits to be available under the remaining private plan, which may be necessary to adopt by reason of the reduced contributions thereto as a result of the integration, shall be subject to agreements between the employers and employees concerned:

Provided, further, That the private benefit plan which the employer shall continue for his employees shall remain under the employer‘s management and control unless there is an existing agreement to the contrary:

Provided, finally, That nothing in the SSS Law shall be construed as a limitation on the right of employers and employees to agree on and adopt benefits which are over and above those provided under the SSS Law. (Section 9[a], R.A. 11199)

c. Self-employed

Coverage in the SSS shall also be compulsory upon such self-employed persons as may be determined by the Commission under such rules and regulations as it may prescribe, including, but not limited to the following:

1) All self-employed professionals;

2) Partners and single proprietors of businesses;

3) Actors and actresses, directors, scriptwriters and news correspondents who do not fall within the definition of the term “employee” in Section 8(d) of the SSS Law;

4) Professional athletes, coaches, trainers and jockeys; and,

5) Individual farmers and fishermen. (Section 9-A, Ibid.)

Unless otherwise specified herein, all provisions of the SSS Law applicable to covered employees shall also be applicable to the covered self-employed persons. (Paragraph 2, Section 9-A, Ibid.)

d. Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs)

1) All sea-based and land-based OFWs

Coverage in the SSS shall be compulsory upon all sea-based and land-based OFWs as defined under Republic Act No. 8042, otherwise known as the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995. as amended by Republic Act No. 10022: Provided, That they are not over sixty (60) years of age. (Section 9-B[a], Ibid.)

All benefit provisions under the SSS Law shall apply to all covered OFWs. The benefits include, among others, retirement, death, disability, funeral, sickness and maternity. (Paragraph 2, Section 9-B[a], Ibid.)

2) Sea-based OFWs

Manning agencies are agents of their principals and are considered as employers of sea-based OFWs. (Section 9-B[b], Ibid.)

For purposes of the implementation of the SSS Law, any law to the contrary notwithstanding manning agencies are jointly and severally or solidarity liable with their principals with respect to the civil liabilities incurred for any violation of the SSS Law. (Paragraph 2, Section 9-B[b], Ibid.)

The persons having direct control, management or direction of the manning agencies shall be held criminally liable for any act or omission penalized under the SSS Law notwithstanding Section 28(f) hereof. (Paragraph 3, Section 9-B[b], Ibid.)

3) Land-based OFWs

Land-based OFWs are compulsory members of the SSS and considered in the same manner as self-employed persons under such rules and regulations that the Commission shall prescribe. (Section 9-B[c] Ibid.)

(d) The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and all its agencies involved in deploying OFWs for employment abroad are mandated to negotiate bilateral labor agreements with the OFWs’ host countries to ensure that the employers of land-based OFWs, similar to the principals of sea-based OFWs, pay the required SSS contributions, in which case these land-based OFWs shall no longer be considered in the same manner as self-employed persons in the SSS Law. (Section 9-B[d] Ibid.)

Instead, they shall be considered as compulsorily covered employees with employer and employee shares in contributions that shall be provided for in the bilateral labor agreements and their implementing administrative agreements: Provided, That in countries which already extend social security coverage to OFWs, the DFA through the Philippine embassies and the DOLE shall negotiate further agreements to serve the best interests of the OFWs. (Ibid.)

3. Voluntary coverage

a. Spouses – subject to exceptions

Spouses who devote full time to managing the household and family affairs, unless they are also engaged in other vocation or employment which is subject to mandatory coverage, may be covered by the SSS on a voluntary basis. (Section 9[b], R.A. 11199)

b. OFWs after employment

Upon the termination of their employment overseas, OFWs may continue to pay contributions on a voluntary basis to maintain their rights to full benefits. (Section 9-B[f] Ibid.)

c. Filipino permanent migrants

Filipino permanent migrants, including Filipino immigrants, permanent residents and naturalized citizens of their host countries may be covered by the SSS on a voluntary basis. (Section 9-B[g], Ibid.)

4. Effective Date of Coverage

Compulsory coverage of the employer shall take effect on the first day of his operation and that of the employee on the day of his employment: Provided, That the compulsory coverage of the self-employed person shall take effect upon his registration with the SSS. (Section 10, Ibid.)

5. Effects on change of circumstances

a. Separation from Employment.

When an employee under compulsory coverage is separated from employment, his employer’s contribution on his account and his obligation to pay contributions arising from that employment shall cease at the end of the month of separation, but said employee shall be credited with all contributions paid on his behalf and entitled to benefits according to the provisions of the SSS Law. He may, however, continue to pay the total contributions to maintain his right to full benefit. (Section 11, Ibid.)

b. Interruption of Business or Professional Income

If the self-employed member realizes no income in any given month, he shall not be required to pay contributions for that month. He may, however, be allowed to continue paying contributions under the same rules and regulations applicable to a separated employee member: Provided, That no retroactive payment of contributions shall be allowed other than as prescribed under Section 22-A hereof. (Section 11-A, Ibid.)


Republic Act No. 11199, a.k.a. Social Security Act of 2018

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