PERA contributions increase by 30 percent

Personal Equity and Retirement Account (PERA) contributions reached Php329.55 million at end-2022, a 30 percent increase from the Php253.35 million recorded a year earlier.

The number of PERA contributors, on the other hand, increased by 16 percent to 5,100 in 2022 from 4,382 in 2021.

About 3,600 employed individuals contributed Php223.71 million to the fund as of end-2022, followed by 721 overseas Filipino workers and 785 self-employed individuals who invested Php60.58 million and Php45.25 million, respectively.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) launched PERA in 2016 under Republic Act No. 9505. In end-December 2017, PERA funds were recorded  at Php37.15 million with 583 contributors.

PERA is a voluntary retirement savings program that supplements state-based pension plans and employer-sponsored retirement plans.

It is considered a superior retirement savings option mainly due to the tax benefits it offers to individual contributors, such as tax exemptions on earnings from PERA investments; a five percent tax credit on the PERA contribution that can be used to pay for national income tax liabilities; and a tax-free distribution on qualified withdrawal of PERA investments.

A potential contributor only needs a Tax Identification Number to invest in the PERA. By the time the contributor reaches the age of 55 years old and an investment period of at least five years, he or she can redeem the PERA investment free of taxes.

The BSP started the end-to-end digitalization of the PERA environment in September 2020.

As an online marketplace, the digital PERA facilitates greater convenience and efficiency by enabling Filipinos to open PERA accounts, choose among different accredited PERA products, and settle PERA transactions electronically using their mobile phones or other digital devices.