As Vietnam ages, retiree employment on the cards

By Hoang Thuy   August 6, 2019 | 05:06 pm PT
As Vietnam ages, retiree employment on the cards
A cigarette seller (R) waits for customers by the Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo by Reuters/Kham.
Vietnam should consider employment for retired people as its population ages, the labor minister said Tuesday.

Dao Ngoc Dung, Minister of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, said that the country had over 11.3 million elderly people last year, of whom about 2.5 million were part of the workforce and over 1.2 million were civil servants.

Vietnam’s current population is around 96.2 million people, putting the percentage of elderly people at around 11.7 percent.

The percentage of elderly is expected to rise further, with the United Nations forecasting the percentage of people over 65 in Vietnam at 12.9 percent in 2030 and 23 percent in 2050, Dung said.

The elderly population in Vietnam is also poorer compared to other demographic sections, and their monthly social welfare at VND270,000 ($11.58) per month is also lower than the country’s poverty line, amounting to just 30 percent of the poverty line in urban areas and 40 percent in rural areas, he added.

The numbers indicate that Vietnam would have an older population in the coming years, which means the country needs to consider employment for retired people, Dung said.

He cited Japan as an example of a country which has successfully implemented startup policies for the elderly.

The labor ministry is also working on a proposal to increase social welfare for elderly people, he added.

A decree which went into effect starting July 25 would allow professors to work 10 more years beyond their retirement age, associate professors for seven more and doctors and senior experts for five more. The normal retirement age in Vietnam is 60 for men and 55 for women.

As the population ages, Vietnam’s social insurance fund could be in trouble by 2020 and go bust by 2037 if current retirement ages remain unchanged, the Vietnam Social Security has warned.

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