The Social Security System (SSS) altered the guidelines on the temporary suspension of the Annual Confirmation of Pensioners Program (ACOP) due to the constant implementation of the community quarantine (CQ) across the country caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
SSS President and CEO Aurora C. Ignacio claimed that pensioners who have failed to comply with the ACOP for this year 2020 (including birth months from January up to the end of the Community Quarantine (CQ)) would still be able to receive their monthly pensions up until the following month of the last day of the community quarantine in the country as stated in the amended guidelines on the temporary ACOP suspension.
Once every form of community quarantine has been lifted and as the country adjusts to the new normal, pensioners will be given a 60-day allowance to comply with the ACOP requirement.
However, if they still have not been able to comply within the period, only then would their pensions be suspended. Meanwhile, verification processes and activities will still be continued by the SSS for the pensioners who live in the Philippines.
Likewise, said pensioners whose pensions were already “suspended due to non-compliance with the ACOP” before the community quarantine will be given an online option to comply. Before we discuss this ACOP suspension further, do you know what the ACOP is?
What is the ACOP?
For all of you who are not in the know, the ACOP or the Annual Confirmation of Pensioners Program is the measure that the SSS got to guarantee the payment benefits of payees with the Social Security Law (SSL).
The members who need to comply with the ACOP include:
- All retirees;
- Total Disability Pensioners;
- Dependents and Guardians
In case you’re not sure how you can proceed to applying for the ACOP; you can visit the ACOP guidelines here.
Temporary ACOP suspension due to health concern
The SSS President and CEO reported that the temporary ACOP suspension was extended with the safety of the agency’s members and pensioners in mind.
Despite the gradual easing of community quarantine restrictions, we have decided to err on the side of caution and extend the temporary ACOP suspension. The health and safety of our members and pensioners remain our top concern.”
Pensioners may present their ACOP compliance by submitting a duly accomplished ACOP form, which is downloadable at this link here; along with photocopies of their identification cards or documents.
Moreover, if the pensioner is living abroad or offshore, they may send their documents through email at [email protected] or the corporate email of the SSS foreign office in the area.
For those living in the Philippines, they may send them at [email protected] or the corporate email of the SSS branch concerned. Likewise, those residing in the Philippines may opt to send their compliance through a representative or personally, if possible, at SSS drop boxes located in its branches nationwide.
The SSS urges the public to take caution and follow the government’s minimum public health standards to curb the transmission and the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
The ACOP program
Launched in 2012, the ACOP program urges pensioners to annually report to the agency as to guarantee and secure their continuous payment of their benefits under the Social Security Law.
Under normal circumstances, ACOP compliance must be done by retiree pensioners living offshore and total disability pensioners on their birth month. Survivor pensioners and dependents are required to do so on the birth month of the deceased member.
Once safety has been ensured, the SSS shall proceed with the mandatory home visits to check Philippine-based pensioners who are 85 years old and above, as well as for those who are not able to physically report due to particular disabilities such as total blindness and amputation of two (2) or more extremities.
Along with the temporary ACOP suspension is the mandatory Unified Multi-Purpose Identification (UMID) card application as the process application requires direct contact with the SSS personnel. The application requires to have their pictures taken, fingerprints scanned, and digital signatures captured. Hence, the dire need to postpone it too, for the time being. With the untimely decisions that resulted from the effects of the COVID-19, a lot of things have been postponed and stopped.
For you, do you think that an ACOP suspension is better and much more beneficial? Do you agree with the temporary ACOP suspension? Do you think it is just timely during the pandemic, or could they have timed it better and more efficiently?
Source/s: Social Security System (SSS) Website