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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Questions and Answers for OFW-Members on the PAG-IBIG/HDMF Mandatory Coverage under R.A. 9679 - Part 2

This is the continuation of my previous post.

Q: Is my foreign employer required to give counterpart contributions?

No, a foreign employer is not required to provide counterpart contributions unless he or she wants to.
 
Q: Can a member contribute more than the required amount?

Yes, a member may contribute more than what is prescribed under the law. In fact, it is very much advantageous to a member to contribute more as this means a higher amount of savings upon maturity. Again, these savings are government-guaranteed and tax-free.


Q. When can a Pag-IBIG member registered under the Mandatory Coverage (Pag-IBIG I), withdraw his contributions?

A member may claim his Total Accumulated Value (TAV) after 20 years of membership with the Fund and after having made a total of 240 monthly contributions.

Meanwhile, 10,154 members benefit from the short-term loan program daily to pay tuition fees, hospital bills, appliance purchases, minor home repairs and for small business capital.
All working Filipinos, whether they are employed locally or abroad, deserve to have equal access to these benefits. Hence, Pag-IBIG membership has been made mandatory for OFWs to give them the same opportunity to save and fulfill their dreams of owning a home.

Q: What are the benefits of being a member of the Pag-IBIG Fund?

A Pag-IBIG member will enjoy the following benefits:

Savings.
The contributions that an OFW member makes are credited to his Total Accumulated Value (TAV) or savings which are fully guaranteed by the national government.

The member’s savings earn annual dividends that are tax-free. The dividend rate varies depending on the net income of the Fund at yearend. For 2009 Pag-IBIG declared P8.5 billion in total dividends, giving members a dividend rate of 5% on their savings.
Pag-IBIG savings are also portable, meaning, these remain in the name of a member even if he transfers employers, works abroad or becomes self-employed or even unemployed.

Short-Term Loans.
A member is entitled to borrow short-term loans offered by the Fund to help address immediate financial needs.

Housing Loan.
A member of good standing may avail of a Pag-IBIG home financing loan from the Fund with some of the lowest interest rates in the market, and repayment terms of up to 30 years. Pag-IBIG housing loans offer low monthly amortizations, making it possible for even low-salary employees to benefit from the program.


Housing loans may be used for the purchase of fully developed lot within a residential area not exceeding 1,000 square meters; purchase of a residential house and lot, townhouse or condominium unit; construction or completion of a residential unit on a lot owned by the member; home improvement or for refinancing an existing loan.

Q: Should the existing members of the Pag-IBIG Overseas Program (POP) still register under the Mandatory Coverage?
 
Yes. All existing members of the Pag-IBIG Overseas Program (POP) are required to register, even if they are already voluntary members.

Existing POP members have the option to discontinue or continue their voluntary membership with Pag-IBIG under the membership term that they specified. Should a POP member opt to continue his voluntary membership, he is still required to contribute a minimum of P100 for his mandatory membership effective January 2010. Otherwise, Pag-IBIG will deduct from any contribution received his P100 monthly contribution to cover his mandatory coverage.

POP members who choose to discontinue their voluntary membership may withdraw their total savings at the end of the membership term they specified upon registration.
 
Q: How can OFWs register under the Mandatory Coverage?
 
OFWs may register through the different Pag-IBIG desks located at the Philippine Embassies/Consulates in key cities abroad. They may also register directly at the Pag-IBIG office located at the 6th Floor Justine Building, Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City (beside Land Bank). Members can also register through any of the Pag-IBIG Fund offices in the Philippines, Pag-IBIG Satellite Office at the POEA and NAIA, and selected accredited collecting banks abroad including PNB, Metrobank and IREMIT Global Remittances Inc.

Q: What is the registration procedure for existing voluntary POP members who have already registered?
 
All existing members of the Fund will update their records via submission of the Member’s Data Form (downloadable at the Pag-IBIG Fund website, www.pagibigfund.gov.ph). They will also update their records in case of changes in their personal information.

Q: If an existing Pag-IBIG member will register as an OFW, what will happen to his/her previous contributions?
 
Pag-IBIG will simply merge the contribution records under his/her new membership as an OFW. All previous contributions will be counted and included in his total savings including previous contributions made by the member under Pag-IBIG I (Mandatory Coverage), prior to his registration in the POP. This is no different from a member moving to another company—an advantage of the portability of Pag-IBIG savings. A member is always assured that his total savings are safe, secure, and available for his withdrawal upon maturity or other valid grounds.

Q: How much is the contribution rate?
 
The contribution rate for all mandatory members, including OFWs will be as follows:


You can view Part 1 HERE

You can download the complete document HERE (in PDF format)

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