SENATOR Sonny Angara has called on the country’s growing army of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), many of them female household service workers (HSWs), to save up for retirement.
This, the migrant Filipino workers will do by investing their earnings in a Personal Equity Retirement Account (PERA), the country’s first-ever voluntary retirement account with tax incentives.
PERA supplements the social pension Filipino workers get from the Social Security System (SSS) or the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).
A national survey conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed that only 11 percent of Filipinos, now numbering more than 100 million, save for retirement or old age.
Various quarters concede that after returning home, many long-time OFWs find it hard to look for local jobs because of their age, with many employers preferring to hire younger workers.
“This is why we encourage our OFWs to save and invest their earnings here in the country so they can secure a comfortable retirement and be with their families,” said the young senator.
PERA is a voluntary and personal account specifically for retirement where an OFW can invest up to P200,000 annually. Non-OFW can only make a maximum contribution of P100,000 yearly.
“Totoong ang pagpapaaral sa mga anak ang pinakamahalagang investment ng ating mga OFW para guminhawa ang buhay ng kanilang pamilya. Pero…malaking tulong ang PERA para masiguro na may naipong pera ang ating mga kababayan abroad pag-uwi ng Pilipinas,” said Angara.
Upon reaching the retirement age of 55, all payments or distributions will be tax-exempt. This can be either in lump sum, a pension for a definite period, or for a lifetime.
Doubtless, investing in PERA is a very good idea.