(Last updated 17 December 2016) Do Not Have Your Social Security Benefits Direct Deposited to the Philippines.
Pretty direct advice there. A number of my readers or searchers who pass by here may not like it, but that’s OK, my job here is to give you the best advice that I can … not to shine you on with only “live in the Philippines” advice you feel you want to hear.
I have good reasons to give that “Do Not Have Your Benefits Direct Deposited”. Here are just a few:
Reason One: Your Benefits Are Not Really “Direct Deposited.” Or, at least they are not “direct deposited” in any normal meaning of the word “direct”.
By The Way, Here’s How I Handle My US to Philippines Transfers:
- 0.1 By The Way, Here’s How I Handle My US to Philippines Transfers:
- 0.2 Dave, I Don’t Really Know Where My Money Went!
- 0.3 So Why The Call?
- 0.4 So How Did The Story End?
- 0.5 This Is Actually All I Had Planned To Write, but in the words of the immortal Ron Popeil, But Wait, There’s More!
- 0.6 Real World Experience Having Money Direct Deposited in the Philippines.
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On to my readers phone call:
Dave, I Don’t Really Know Where My Money Went!
A few Sundays ago I received a call from a long-time reader here who had asked my advice on this subject a long time back. I told him the facts, such as I know them:
- You CAN have your US Social Security benefits sent to a local Philippine account. It can only be with certain banks here (PNB is one), and there a lot of conditions and stumbling blocks along the way, but yes, you can … but there are better ways.
- Doing it by what the US SSA calls “direct deposit” Leaves You Virtually “Out Of The Loop” if anything goes wrong.
- If anything happens which causes you to make a trip back to the USA (or to some other country) you could be SOL (Surely Out of Luck) regarding any money which might be in your bank account here.
Well my faithful reader listened and then decided to go ahead and set up “direct deposit” to his PNB account in the Philippines anyway. That’s fine, we all make our own decisions and I do my best to never criticize anyone’s personal decision. I’m just an old retired fart , living in the Philippines, and not an expert on anything.
So Why The Call?
“Dave it’s like the 6th of the month and I haven’t received my monthly payment.”
“Gosh,” I answered, “Have you contacted the US SSA”?
“Yes”, was his reply, “They say my payment went out as it was supposed to, for payment not later than the 3rd of the month.”
“OK, have you contacted PNB New York.? The so-called “direct deposit actually transits through PNB New Your (which, despite the name connection is a separate corporation from PNB Philippines).
“Yes and they say, nothing has been received for them to forward to my PNB Philippines account.”
Ouch! And just to make a long story shorter, it turns out there is another New York bank involved which is the actual location where the Social Security Administration electronically sends payments for overseas beneficiaries. Thousands and thousands of payments come in every month and the “third-party payment processing bank” sorts them out and forwards them on to banks who actually effect the transfer to overseas recipients, PNB New York in my reader’s case.
So How Did The Story End?
Well, sadly, I can’t really tell you, because after a lot more conversation my reader decided to start finding out how to contact this third-party bank in the hopes that he could eventually track down his missing payment.
I hope it worked out for him, but again, my advice is never put yourself in that position, especially if you are really relying on that SSA payment each and every month. It’s not good for your blood pressure or your bank balance.
This Is Actually All I Had Planned To Write, but in the words of the immortal Ron Popeil, But Wait, There’s More!
Reason Two: Even if you have your money sent here direct, you have very little control and my well be denied access to it, say perhaps if you fall ill (a time you may need your money really bad!)
Real World Experience Having Money Direct Deposited in the Philippines.
A few weeks ago I received this comment rom a reader. He graciously pointed out several “hidden pitfalls” of having your Social Security payments “direct deposited” to a bank here in the Philippines.
Do Not Have Your Social Security Payments Sent To a Bank in the Philippines.
When I opened my direct deposit from SS several years ago, it was a good Idea EXCEPT that I was required to have it deposited into a SAVINGS ACCOUNT.
That wasn’t a problem but I didn’t want to always need to go to the bank to make a withdrawal and I wanted an ATM card with VISA or MC logo so I could use it for online purchases and also in America should I go back there for a visit.
A little more than a year ago, I tried some online activity but couldn’t access my account. When I asked the bank about it, they told me Bank rules had changed and the only way I could access my Savings account (where my SS was direct deposited) was to go to the bank in person, go to the counter and do my business.
I didn’t object because there is a branch here and my account is at another branch in a different city (only 6 KM away, fortunately), but the branch here told me (and my home branch) verified I could ONLY DO TRANSACTIONS AT MY HOME BRANCH! (the branch 6 KM away) AND I COULD NO LONGER TRANSFER FROM MY SAVINGS ACCOUNT TO MY CARD ACCOUNT.
(editor’s note. this is the rule here, rather than the exception. No matter how big the bank you use and how many branches they have, you can only do business at your “home” branch. Choose carefully.)
Here is what is REALLY, REALLY BAD NEWS–SS DIRECT DEPOSITS MUST GO INTO A “PENSIONER” SAVINGS ACCOUNT from which withdrawals can be made ONLY IN PERSON AT THE COUNTER so if I get injured or bed-ridden for any reason I must have an attorney come to my house or hospital room, fill out a “power of attorney” and have my fiance’ take it to the bank if she needs cash for any reason.
(editor’s note: Like maybe cash to pay for a needed operation which my reader won’t get unless the hospital gets cash in advance?)
So now do you see why I consistently advise, Do Not Have Your Social Security Benefits Direct Deposited to the Philippines?