After opening a Personal Equity and Retirement Account (PERA), our next step is to make sure that we top up our account every year.
In this post, I will share three ways to top up your BPI PERA account. Yes, there are only three ways to do it.
1. Personally visit BPI Buendia Center in Makati
If you’re in Metro Manila, the easiest and most straightforward way to top up your BPI PERA contribution is by personally, physically, going to the BPI Asset Management and Trust Corporation office at the 7th floor of the BPI Building. Their full address is:
7F BPI Buendia Center (Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenue), Makati City
Going to the Asset Management for topping up your account is as easy as signing the visitor form at the lobby and then proceeding to the 7th floor. Once at the 7th floor, a receptionist will ask you for the purpose of your visit to their office. Tell the receptionist that you’re there top up your PERA account.
You will be asked to enter a small room and wait for a few minutes to be entertained by another BPI employee, who will give you the appropriate form to fill out and sign.
Afterwards, they will give you a copy of the form you just signed. That’s it. You’re done.
2. Send your documents via courier
This is an option if you’re not based in Metro Manila, too busy to personally visit the BPI Asset Management Office, or are based abroad.
I have personally sent my signed documents from South Korea via courier and I didn’t encounter any problem with the processing of my request.
To do this, just properly fill out the PERA Contribution and Investment Instruction Form, sign it, and send it to address I listed above.
If you’re worried that nobody might receive your document, you can email them at email@example.com
Sending your form via fax or email is not acceptable.
3. With the help of your BPI branch
Although your local BPI branch is likely unfamiliar with PERA at this time, you can still recruit their assistance in getting the PERA Contribution and Investment Instruction Form to BPI Asset Management.
To do this, email firstname.lastname@example.org to give them a head’s up that you’re planning on submitting your form to the BPI branch nearest you. Do this first before proceeding to your BPI branch.
The branch and BPI Asset Management should be able to coordinate internally to get the accomplished form to the right people within the company.
Although I wasn’t able to test this option yet myself, I was given this tip by the lovely BPI employee who assisted me when I visited he BPI Buendia Center office last December 2019.
How to fill up the form
If you’re sending the form via courier or through your local BPI branch, follow the tips below to make sure that you provide the correct information to BPI.
You don’t need to bring your own form if you’re visiting the BPI Buendia branch.
This is the upper portion of the form. The topmost part is straightforward enough. Just put in your name, date, and employment status.
If you forgot your PERA Account number, you can check the PERA Financial Statements that BPI sends you via email every quarter.
Your BPI Settlement Account No. is the account where BPI will deduct the money from. You cannot bring cash to BPI to top up your PERA account.
For Amount, write how much you want to add, without the fees.
Then, write your name, put in the date, and sign it. Done
If you’re topping up your BPI PERA account in December, make sure that you do so on or even before the end of the second week of the month.
If you top up your account by the third week or even after, you stand the danger of having the contribution counted for the following year. For example, you want to contribute for 2019 and you did it on the third week of December 2019. That contribution will already be counted for 2020, instead of 2019.
Which means you skipped contributing for 2019.
This is because BPI does not complete the topping up process within the same day or even the same week. They need to coordinate with Landbank, which is the Custodian – that is, an entity assigned by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to take custody of PERA assets – for the process to be completed. This process can take up to two weeks or more, especially near or during the holidays.
This is exactly what happened to me last December, regrettably. So, lesson learned kids, especially if you want to make sure that you maximize the Php 100,000 (or Php 200,000 for OFWs) annual contribution limit.
Were you able to top up your PERA account? I hope you did. Share your experience in the comments!