Vietnam to increase retirement age gradually from 2021

By Hoang Phuong   November 23, 2020 | 10:26 pm PT
Vietnam to increase retirement age gradually from 2021
An elderly couple sits by the West Lake of Hanoi, October 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Ngan Duong.
Vietnam will gradually increase the retirement age to 60 years for women and 62 for men starting next year.

The government has issued a decree that contains a timeline for raising the retirement age by 2035 from 55 years for women and 60 for men.

With effect from January 1 next year 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.

The decree follows amendments to the Labor Law passed by the National Assembly in November last year.

The amendments allow people to retire up to five years early or late based on certain conditions like working in dangerous environments or areas with extremely difficult socio-economic conditions for 15 years, doing jobs involving heavy lifting or suffering a 61 percent or more decrease in working capacity if they want to retire early, and have special expertise if they want to retire late.

Increasing the retirement age is an issue that "cannot be delayed," Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung had told the NA last year.

According to the ministry, the retirement age in Vietnam is low compared to other countries in the neighborhood while life expectancy has increased and therefore, to cope with the aging population and keep the balance for the nation’s pension fund, raising the retirement age is urgent.

As the population ages, the country’s social insurance fund could be in trouble by 2020 and go bust by 2037, the Vietnam Social Security (VSS) has warned.

The VSS said if the government does not raise the retirement age, by 2037 its expenditure would equal revenue before exceeding it, and then the government would have to dip into its pockets.

Vietnam’s population is around 96.2 million now, with seniors accounting for around 11.7 percent.

The United Nations has said the rate of people over 65 in the country would reach 12.9 percent in 2030 and 23 percent in 2050.

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