If you quit your regular job to work overseas or become a full-time freelancer, you should not stop paying your government contributions to continue accessing the benefits provided by PAG-IBIG, Social Security System (SSS) and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth). You may continue paying your social contributions as a self-employed individual or as a voluntary member. Aside from social benefits, government agencies like SSS and Home Development Mutual Fund also provide alternative savings options for their respective paying members. If you are an existing PAG-IBIG member, you may save some of your hard-earned money to MP2 or known as the Modified PAG-IBIG II.
Modified PAG-IBIG II (MP2): What is it all About?
Freelancers, whether performing online or offline duties, automatically become a voluntary member under PAG-IBIG since former employers will no longer pay for their social contributions upon resigning from work. Even if you become a freelancer or self-employed professional, you are still obliged to pay your government social contributions in order to take advantage of housing loans, health insurance and personal loans that you may be entitled to. And being a regular member allows you to invest your money to a secured savings option that provides a yield higher than investment products and regular savings from private banks.
The Modified Pag-IBIG II (MP2) is a tax-free, five-year renewal savings program offered to all current PAG-IBIG members including regular employees, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), self-employed, and freelancers. The MP2 program, in cooperation with HDMF, is far different from the P1 Fund and PAG-IBIG Overseas Program about eligibility requirements and savings mechanics.
Why is MP2 Beneficial for Freelancers?
Having a freelance career gives you the perfect opportunity to earn as much as you want without being tied up to a fixed monthly compensation. However, the potential amount that you may earn will always vary according to project complexity, requirements, and of course, your client’s capacity to pay. If you are earning a bit more than your fixed monthly expenses, it would be helpful to set aside some of your extra income intended for any inevitable circumstances which may put you in deep financial difficulties. You may opt to open an MP2 account if you ever thought of anything you need to allocate in five years such as your wedding event, a down payment amount for a new car or a business capital.
Dividend and interest rates are flexible but still better than P1 Fund and Overseas savings program. What’s more, all potential earnings are secured and guaranteed by the national government, which means you will not lose any amount despite the risk of economic downturn.
Freelancers, both part-time and full-time working individuals, are eligible to enroll for the optional savings scheme, provided that they carry an active PAG-IBIG membership (P1) and regularly pay their monthly contributions. The MP2 program does not require additional documents except for some applications forms (to be filled up when you apply). This is also open to all former and retired OFWs who become freelancers provided that their membership status has remained active until they get home. They should have at least 24 months of paid contributions prior to enrollment in order to get qualified.
For a minimum contribution of Php500 per month, you may start saving money to MP2 with no maximum savings amount and late payment penalties to worry about. After five years, you can claim all your earnings, including interests and dividends, once you have fulfilled the required documents or you may renew for another five-year program again.
Here are the Benefits of MP2 Program:
- An official HDNF or PAG-IBIG card is all you need to apply.
- Paid contributions and earnings are tax-free and guaranteed by the Philippine government.
- No 20% withholding tax per month for the Total Accumulated Value (TAV) unlike from private banks and insurance companies
- Listed beneficiaries are allowed to claim the savings in case of member’s death upon submitting the supporting documents
- Higher interest rates than regular savings and other investment instruments from commercial banks as well as P1 Fund and PAG-IBIG Overseas program
- No penalties when you stop or miss depositing on your account
- Earnings can be withdrawn after five years, though early withdrawal can be allowed if the member becomes permanently disabled, insane or unemployed.
The Eligibility Difference Between MP2 and SSS PESO Fund
The Modified PAG-IBIG II and SSS Personal Equity and Savings Option (PESO) are two of the most convenient savings platforms dedicated to all hard-working Filipinos today. Besides housing loans and social benefits, both government institutions also offer alternative savings options that allow members to yield higher interest rates and dividends than most banking counterparts in the country. The SSS PESO Fund, just like MP2, is an excellent investment option for current SSS members where the earnings are tax-free and guaranteed since the contributions are placed in a government-secured investment scheme. However, the Social Security System enforces stricter guidelines in allowing their registered members to enroll in the PESO Fund. Check out the difference between the two government-guaranteed savings options below:
Modified Pag-IBIG II MP2:
- Open to all regular employees, self-employed workers (including freelancers), voluntary members and OFWs (active and retired)
- Active PAG-IBIG membership with a regular monthly contribution not less than Php100
- If you are an inactive PAG-IBIG member with at least 24 months of previously paid contributions before you reach your retirement age
- 18 years old and above
- No income bracket requirement. The monthly income requirement of Php5,000 and above has been waived.
SSS PESO Fund:
- Open to all regular employees, self-employed workers (including freelancers), voluntary members and OFWs (active only)
- No existing Final Claims filed related to total disability, retirement and death benefits before submitting the application
- Only SSS members who are 55 years old and below
- Interested applicants who have paid their monthly contributions at least six consecutive months within the last 12 months before they enroll in the program
- You are required to pay the maximum contribution per month (based on declared income) under the regular SSS program to qualify.
Between these two options, the eligibility requirements for MP2 savings program seem more flexible than its SSS counterpart.
How to Open an MP2 Account
You are qualified to join this enhanced savings program if you have an active PAG-IBIG I membership with regular monthly contributions of at least Php100. You should maintain the Php100 monthly contribution even if you decide not to deposit regularly on your MP2 account. What’s more important here is the TAV, including dividends and interest rates, which you will receive after five years. Here’s what you should do to open an MP2 account:
- Bring your HDMF or PAG-IBIG transaction card to any PAG-IBIG branch close to your current location.
- Fill up the application form with complete membership details. You will be allowed to enroll even if you haven’t received your PAG-IBIG ID card.
- Pay the minimum amount of Php500 as your initial MP2 contribution in addition to the Php100 regular membership fee. You will be requested to submit two individual payment forms for both P1 and MP2 accounts. You may also settle your P1 Fund and MP2 savings on a quarterly or annual basis.
- Alternatively, you may use the MP2 Enrollment system to enroll for an MP2 account by visiting http://www.pagibigfund.gov.ph/memserv/ to submit your membership details. You can create one or more MP2 accounts as long as you are able to pay the required monthly P1 contribution on time.
If you are working as a freelancer right now, opening an MP2 account can be a practical savings solution which may provide your extra money and more room to grow for your future short-term goals.
Dale Basilla is a content writer for various niches, SEO (Off-page & On-Page), and lives in a location where there are lots of beaches in the Philippines. He loves to watch anime, TV series (mystery and solving crimes), and movies. In his spare time, he plays chess, plays the guitar, and spend time with his ever busy girlfriend.