GSIS sets up DC kiosk; will invest $1-B abroad
|Posted by Manila Mail under Articles/Stories|
WASHINGTON, D.C.-The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), the agency that provides insurance benefits to government employees in the Philippines, Sept. 26 launched its online transactional kiosk, called the GSIS Wireless Automated Processing System (G-W@PS) in the Philippine Embassy to serve the needs of government retirees.
G-W@PS is a transactional kiosk where GSIS pensioners can apply for the eCard Plus and renew their active pensioners status electronically, which will then ensure the uninterrupted remittance of their monthly GSIS pension benefits.
Before the G-W@PS was put in place, GSIS pensioners living in the Philippines or abroad had to report to the GSIS office once a year, during their birth month, to ensure the continuous receipt of their pensions. This requirement addresses the problems of fraudulent encashment of checks through misrepresentation and overpayment to deceased pensioners.
The G-W@PS has now eliminated this need for personal appearances by employing biometrics. Instead of going to the Philippines , pensioners only need to have their fingerprints scanned and revalidated through the G-W@PS kiosk. Pensioners need to use their eCard Plus to access the G-W@PS. To pre-register, GSIS pensioners only need to call the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. at (202) 467-9300 or (9363) . They need to provide, among others, their residence address and their cellular phone number-even the cell number of their friends or relatives-during the pre-registration.
The GSIS will set up an assisted enrollment center to the eCard Plus through the G-W@PS this month at the Philippine Embassy.
Once enrolled, pensioners can use their eCard Plus on the G-W@PS to renew their active pensioners status during their birth month, which will ensure the continued receipt of their monthly pension benefits, without the need to report to the GSIS office in the Philippines.
Earlier, the GSIS G-W@PS kiosks in the Philippine Consular Offices in San Francisco , Los Angeles , New York , and Chicago enrolled pensioners to the eCard Plus.
Meanwhile, coinciding with the installation of the G-W@PS kiosk here, the GSIS will also introduce a new system, dubbed as the G-V@PS or the GSIS Voice Activated Processing System, which will further relieve pensioners from the burden of reporting to the GSIS.
While the G-W@PS uses fingerprint scanning to identify the pensioners, the G-V@PS will use voice recording and authentication. All pensioners have to do to renew their active pensioners status is call the G-V@PS hotline* *at #011-632-8590303 using any telephone-including their cellular phone-after which a voice prompt will answer and instruct them to follow the steps needed to complete the transaction.
With this new system, pensioners can renew their active pensioners status even from the comfort of their own homes.
Enrollment to the G-V@PS is strictly optional on the part of the pensioners. GSIS representatives, and later on the Consulates Authorized Representative, will be available to assist pensioners during the enrollment to the G-V@PS. For pensioners who already have eCard Plus, they need to bring their eCard with them during the enrollment to the G-V@PS.
By Rodney J. Jaleco
WASHINGTON D.C. Philippine state pension fund GSIS is all set to take the money of its 1.5 million members overseas for the first time, even as it reaches out to thousands of GSIS pensioners now scattered around the world.
Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) president Winston Garcia tells ABS-CBN News that they will announce the three winning fund managers that will handle the GSIS $1 billion overseas investment by the third week of October.
In a forthcoming report in The Filipino Channels Balitang America, Garcia said going global was necessary to establish a stable investment portfolio.
We are allocating around 15 percent of our assets para ma-diversify ang ating investment portfolio. Were investing about $1 billion in America, Europe and Asia, handled by professional fund managers he explained.
Following the lead of other pension funds in the world, like CalPERS (the $250-billion California Public Employees Retirement System) which even has investments in the Philippines, they invest outside their own countries to achieve diversification, Garcia said.
He fends off possible criticism the GSIS was taking funds away from the Philippines, suggesting the local capital market has become too small and stifling for what the GSIS needs to keep the fund growing.
The GSIS reportedly has about P150 billion in investable funds and liquid assets – P55 billion of it in short-term bank deposits to constitute the funds excess liquidity.
This is necessary to keep the fund solvent, Garcia insisted, because this opens access to more varied, more liquid short-term investments and securities which is not available in the Philippines right now.
Garcia said 36 global fund managers, each handling about $200 billion-worth of investments, bidded to handle the GSIS investment. Of this number, nine were interviewed two weeks ago, he disclosed.
We are evaluating these nine so we can reduce this to a maximum of three fund managers, he added.