Metro Manila, Philippines — The state-run Social Security System (SSS) is crafting a new pension scheme that will allow its members to build a bigger nest egg come their retirement.

Once approved by the SSS policy-making body of commissioners, the monthly retirement pension will breach the current ₱20,000 ceiling, its top official said on Tuesday. The plan will not need an executive order from Malacañang or any congressional approval.

“The pension will be increased from the current say 5 [thousand pesos], 10 [thousand pesos], to as high as 30,000… 40,000,” SSS President Rolando Macasaet told reporters.

The SSS has set a timetable of two to three months to roll out the larger pension program, but the chief executive officer clarified that the higher pension scheme is voluntary.

“Voluntary lang ito. Pero ang mga employers, kung gusto nilang mag-share, puwede din lalo na for their employees na gusto nilang i-retain,” Macasaet explained.

[Translation: This is voluntary. But if the employers want to share, they can share especially for the employees they want to retain.]

The existing setup is that retirees get a pension within the ₱4,000 to ₱20,000 range per month, depending on how much they contributed to the fund.

The logic is that the bigger amount of premium the member voluntarily contributes, the greater the benefit when he or she retires, unlike the current maximum monthly pension of just ₱20,000.

The agency previously increased the contribution rate of its members to 14% from 13% last year.

The SSS has about 41 million members and the new leadership wants to bring that count to half of the 110-million Filipino population. More member contributions effectively would prolong the fund’s actuarial life that is scheduled to last until 2039.

The pension fund also launched a program called “SSS Service on Wheels” targeted at poorer households in far-flung areas, tapping the help of local government executives.

Before setting up another satellite at a Robinsons mall in Sta. Rosa, the agency had 27 centers at Robinsons malls nationwide where members can have SSS-related offsite transactions.