Have you ever thought about what's going to happen when you leave Thailand after teaching here for several years? Will you be receiving a separation pay equivalent to one month salary per year of service or reaping the benefits of any other scheme?
If you have a negative answer, as a concerned senior Filipino citizen, I advise you to continue to be a self-employed member of the Philippine SSS. With a contribution of 120 months or more, since you became a member, you will be able to receive a considerable amount of money from your optional retirement at age 60 or compulsory retirement at age 65.
Of course, with a larger contribution you are assured of a larger retirement sum. Since you are in Thailand, request a family member or a relative to do it for you. Better still, you can do the actual remittance yourself through affiliated banks of SSS. Of course, you have to do the initial negotiations first. You can also enjoy an additional amount from Pag-ibig at age 60 if you have been a member for a long time. There is not much of a problem when you claim your retirement benefits from the two agencies.
I was once critical about the agencies I mentioned. I heard from many people in my younger years that many people couldn't enjoy the benefits attached to their membership because of corrupt practices in the system. They said it was hard to claim their benefits. I think the reason why they had this difficulty was because their papers were not in proper order. Some examples are discrepancies in the spelling of first names, family names or different dates of birth.
In my experience, the accusations aren't true anymore because I have been a witness to this easy way of claiming benefits.
Last April 2011, I applied for my SSS and Pag-ibig retirements. Actually it only took me a month to get my benefits in SSS and a week only for Pag-ibig. It's so easy. I just presented my baptismal certificate and affidavit from two acquaintances that I am the person with such name and birthdates including an application form. There was a long que as expected but I was an early bird and a senior citizen too, so I got the chance to be served first.
Last February 2011 the Philippine Embassy had a meeting with a Thai representative here in Thailand regarding mandatory SSS membership for people going to work in Thailand. I don't know if it has already been implemented. For queries regarding SSS membership in Thailand, you may contact the Philippine Embassy at Sukhumvit Road. For Pag-ibig membership, I think it's mandatory. When you get your exit clearance from POEA you can be a member.
I take the opportunity to share this information because I should have gotten a larger pension if I continued my contributions to SSS when I started working in this country five years ago.
So, what are you waiting for? Remember the saying, "No pain no gain.