If you are freelancer and would like to pay Social Security System (SSS) contributions but do not know how, look no further, the answer is here! In this post, I will guide you on how to pay for your SSS contributions. The process is extremely simple.
WHY PAY SSS?
Very briefly, you can enjoy social security benefits if you are a member of SSS. Benefits include financial support on sickness, maternity, retirement, disability, death, and funeral. If you would like more details on this, you can check out the official website of SSS . In my case, I chose to continue paying my contributions so I can receive pension when I retire. However, I don’t really intend for it to be my primary source of income when I retire as I also invest in other financial instruments such as the stock market, mutual funds, VULs, etc.
WHERE I WENT
I first went to the SSS Kiosk in Robinsons Place Manila (Lingkod Pinoy Center). My plan was, if I finish early, I could also process updating my Philhealth and PAG-IBIG memberships. Unfortunately, the services offered by the government agencies in Lingkod Pinoy Center are limited. I asked the staff in SSS if I could update my membership and pay my contribution. I was told that payments are only accepted in SSS branches or Bayad Centers. I just decided to just go to an SSS branch.
I then went to SSS España branch which is the most convenient branch to go to from home. There are actually a couple of branches in my vicinity but I chose SSS España as it was only a jeepney ride away. It’s also where I got my SSS number (E1 Form) six years ago.
I went on July 13, 2015 Monday at around 3 PM.
FROM EMPLOYED TO FREELANCE
My last employment was in a BPO company. I already had an SSS number and my company was the one handling my SSS contributions.
FREELANCERS: VOLUNTARY MEMBER OR SELF-EMPLOYED?
Both voluntary members (VM) and self-employed (SE) individuals use exactly the same form which is the CON-01181 (05-2014) when paying their contribution (form pictured below). I guess SSS does not really make that much of a distinction between the two. The important thing is you pay the contributions using your unique SSS number. Your payments get credited to your own SSS account anyway so it does not really matter. There is no need to be afraid that you might fill out an incorrect form and that your contributions will be “wasted”. That was my initial fear but it went away once I learned the above.
Paying your SSS contributions as a voluntary/self-employed member is easy-peasy. You can do it in 4 simple steps:
- Get the CON-01181 (05-2014)
- Fill it out.
- Pay the contribution.
- Keep the form.
For step one, you may get the form from the friendly security guard who usually has a form handy or the SSS staff responsible for manning the forms table. This is the set up in SSS España. It may vary in other branches.
Step two is where you need to pay attention. Filling the form is quite straightforward. You are required to put your SSS number, name, TIN, address, contact numbers, email, and the amount of the contribution that you will pay. It will be up to you how much you want to pay depending on your current earnings. There is an official SSS schedule of contribution you can refer to which is found in the SSS website. There is no penalty if you miss paying for some months especially if you did not earn anything on those months. It’s just that you can no longer retroactively pay for the missed months.
The schedule of contribution may change from year to year so be sure to check the website before actually going to the SSS branch. You can also ask to see the table from the SSS staff. For the year 2015, the below schedule of contribution is followed.
Let’s say that you are earning 20,000 per month as a freelancer. If you look at the table above, those earning Php 15750 or over have a monthly salary credit of Php 16000. The SE/VM contribution is Php 1760 per month. You can choose to pay lower than your monthly salary credit.
Let’s say you are earning Php 10,00 per month. Your total contribution should be Php 1100 or lower. If you want to pay more, you can only go up two steps (salary brackets) from your monthly salary credit and not more than that.
At the bottom of the form, you have to declare your earnings as an individual payor and sign it.
Please take note of the deadline of paying your premiums which will depend on the 10th digit of your SSS number. In my case, the last digit of my SSS number is 2. THe deadline for paying the contributions is supposed to be every 10th of the month. I came in on July 13. Unfortunately, I can no longer pay for the previous months including July. I asked the staff if I could still pay for July and she said that it was fine. I chose to pay until the month of December 2015.
For step three, after filling the form and verifying that all the details are correct, you can now proceed to the cashier. The form will be machine validated and it now serves as your official receipt / proof of payment that you indeed paid your SSS contributions. While I was lining up, I had a little chitchat with the other payees. Apparently, if you miss paying your contributions three months in a year, that year will no longer be counted during the calculation of your SSS pension. I am not sure how true this is as I did not have the chance to verify with the SSS staff. Maybe I would when I get back to pay my contributions for 2016.
Here is how my validated SSS Contributions Payment Form looks like.
Step four is keep the form. Well, this should be a no-brainer. It’s proof of payment and it is but wise to keep it for your personal records in case the SSS database gets wiped out due to an alien invasion or something.
- If you want your payments to be posted to your account real-time, transact your payments in SSS branches. I am not quite sure how soon Bayad Centers post it to your account. It could be the same or the next business days.
- Go to the SSS branch as early as possible.
- Check the SSS schedule of contribution prior to going to SSS so you will know how much to pay and you can bring the exact amount to SSS.
And voila! You’re done! Wasn’t that super easy? I hope that the above can guide you when you do decide to pay your SSS contributions on your own. Please note that these are all from my personal experience in paying my SSS contributions. I strongly encourage you to visit the SSS website or go to your nearest SSS branch to get the most up-to-information on the correct process. 🙂