Ministry seeks to cut social insurance contribution period to obtain pension

By Hoang Phuong   April 19, 2021 | 01:06 am PT
Ministry seeks to cut social insurance contribution period to obtain pension
Elderly people at a park in Hanoi in December, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Gia Chinh.
Contract laborers should pay social insurance in just 10-15 years to enjoy retirement pensions instead of the current 20 years, said the labor ministry.

In a draft amendment to the Law on Social Insurance, the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs suggested the period for paying social insurance premiums, to enter a retirement fund, should be reduced to 15 years and then to 10 years, for people to enjoy retirement pensions.

As per the existing law issued in 2014, contracted laborers must pay social insurance for the full 20 years so they could obtain a pension when they retire, currently at 60 years and three months for men and at 55 years and four months for women.

The ministry said the regulation is too "tight" as 20 years is a long period and many cannot work that many years under contracts only to pay enough insurance premiums.

As a result, many have stopped halfway, choosing to give up on the retirement pension.

In the long run, a large number of old people without pensions would create huge pressure on social welfare and healthcare funding.

Vietnam is currently among the most rapidly aging countries in the world. It officially entered the aging phase in 2011 when the number of people over 60 made up 10 percent of the population. That ratio climbed to 12 percent in 2019 for a population of 95 million and is expected to rise to 17.9 percent in 2025, and to more than 20 percent in 2038. By then, the nation would officially become an aging country.

If the mandatory period of social insurance contribution is shortened to 10 years, the policy would encourage more people to purchase insurance, said the ministry, which targets that by 2030, 60 percent of those of working-age would obtain insurance compared to only around 33 percent, or more than 16 million, as of March this year.

Once the social insurance fund grows bigger, laborers could head towards a future more certain of getting access to their retirement pensions, said the ministry.

The ministry has submitted the draft amendment to the government and will collect public opinions until June 16.

The amendment, as expected, will be submitted to the legislative National Assembly (NA) in December next year. If it is passed at the next NA meeting in May 2023, it will take effect from Jan. 1, 2024.

By late last year, Vietnam had around 14.1 million people in retirement, with only 4.9 million having access to the retirement pension.

Starting this year, Vietnam has gradually increased the retirement age to 60 years for women and 62 for men.

With effect from Jan. 1, men can retire at 60 years and three months and women at 55 years and four months. After that three months will be added each year to the retirement age of men until it becomes 62 in 2028. For women, it will be raised by four months until it becomes 60 in 2035.

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