Bill reforming MUP pension to be approved before yearend

By Anna Leah Gonzales

July 25, 2023, 7:44 pm

<p><em>File photo</em></p>

File photo

MANILA – The bill reforming the military and uniformed personnel (MUP) pension system is expected to be passed within the year, Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Benjamin Diokno said on Tuesday.

"We are pushing for this. The military pension reform is part of the top priority legislative agenda of the President, concurred in by Congress and we expect this to be passed before the end of the year, and so it will have an impact as soon as January of next year," Diokno said during the post-State of the Nation Address (SONA) Philippine Economic Briefing at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.

Part of the proposed reform is for MUP to contribute funds to make it sustainable.

Under the proposed pension system, MUPs will be required to contribute a portion of their salaries as a form of savings, which will be supplemented by the government.

Diokno said there are three types of beneficiaries from the reform.

"Those who are already retired – we’ll not touch them, more or less, because that’s like a contractual obligation to them, those who are in active service will be asked to contribute gradually to the system, and those who are going to be recruited for the first time will pay the full amount of the benefit," he said.

"We have the treasurer, and my several undersecretaries have been going around and explaining to them. And so far, I think the results of the consultation are very encouraging."

As of last week, the DOF already conducted a total of 21 consultative meetings.

Once passed, Diokno said the military pension reform will open up a lot of fiscal space in the budget.

"If my numbers are right, [for] 2024, we have allocated something like 300 billion pesos, that’s approximately USD6 billion for the military pension," he said.

The government seeks to reform the MUP pension system to address its sustainability and ensure provision of fair retirement benefits to MUPs while easing the pressure on the government budget over time. (PNA)