GSIS investment portfolio grows to P891-B in 2021

The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) expanded its investment portfolio to P890.59 billion in 2021, up by 5.22 percent from P846.4 billion in 2020, according to its report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III.

“The growth came primarily from the GSIS’s well-positioned foreign currency denominated investments, particularly in the equities market and the infrastructure sector,” GSIS President and General Manager Rolando Macasaet said.

Macasaet stated in his report to Sec. Dominguez that while the pension fund’s peso-denominated investments dipped 4.38 percent last year to P633.31 billion from P662.3 billion in 2020, its foreign currency-denominated assets rose to P257.26 billion from P184.1 billion in 2020.

The GSIS’ foreign currency-denominated equity investments grew 345 percent from P15.62 billion in 2020 to P69.58 billion in 2021.

Its investments in foreign-currency denominated cash and short-term time deposits also increased to P22.17 billion in 2021 or 236 percent more than the P6.6 billion balance in 2020.

The foreign-currency denominated infrastructure assets of the GSIS also contributed to the growth in the pension fund’s investment portfolio, rising by 50.9 percent from P17.45 billion in 2020 to P26.34 billion in 2021.

On the other hand, foreign currency-denominated fixed income assets decreased from P144.43 billion in 2020 to P139.17 billion in 2021 due to maturities and market valuation.

The GSIS was also able to grow its peso-denominated cash assets from P59.34 billion in 2020 to P74.81 billion in 2021.

Its peso-denominated investments in the equities market grew from P194.08 billion in 2020 to P212.18 billion last year.

The drop in peso-denominated investments in infrastructure, from P14.52 billion in 2020 to P4.66 billion in 2021, was due to the completion of some projects and divestment (disposal of asset) which yielded for GSIS a gain of P5.11 billion.

GSIS’s peso-denominated fixed income investments decreased from P394.34 billion to P341.66 billion in 2021.

Sec. Dominguez commended GSIS under Macasaet’s leadership for efficiently managing the state pension fund to offer more benefits for its members in the government workforce.

Macasaet said that in 2021, the GSIS expanded its acceptance of loan payments from members through digital channels to make it more convenient for them amid the pandemic and to improve the pension fund’s collection efficiency.

As of December 2021, GSIS has included the digital apps of the Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) and Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) as additional electronic payment channels for its members.

The pension fund also enhanced the features of its GSIS Touch mobile app to include tentative computation and application for loans and claims, scheduling of Annual Pensioner Information Revalidation (APIR), and monthly notification on premium and loan payment posting.

The GSIS report also mentioned the launching of its “Ginhawa for All” program in November 2021, a rebranding campaign that features three benefit bundles catering to the fund’s pensioners, active members, and former members.

The goal of the program is to make it easy, fast, and convenient for active and former members, and pensioners to access information on the benefits and services from the GSIS.

Macasaet said the GSIS has likewise adopted the contactless filing of claims and benefits.

Government employees, retirees, or other claimants may submit their application forms and other documents to GSIS through eGSISMO; email; postal mail or delivery courier; or drop boxes located in the lobbies of GSIS offices.

To assist its members struggling to cope with the economic shock triggered by the pandemic, three new Ginhawa Loan Programs were launched last year, namely: the Multipurpose Loan (MPL), a program that waives charges on all in-default loans; Computer Loan that offers P30,000-assistance to purchase a computer; and GSIS Financial Assistance Loan (GFAL)-Educational Loan, a study-now-pay-later program for kin of members.

The GSIS also implemented the Lease-with-Option-to-Buy Program in August 2021 as a means to save occupants of its housing units with canceled or foreclosed accounts from being ejected.

Macasaet said the program aims to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on occupants of GSIS residential units.

This program offers a lower monthly rental fee as compared to monthly amortization for Installment Sale. (DOF)