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Workshop shares experiences in ensuring sustainable social insurance

Experiences in maintaining sustainable social insurance amidst the aging population were shared by experts and managers at a workshop hosted by the Vietnam Social Security (VSS) in Hanoi on March 6.

According to VSS General Director Nguyen Thi Minh, the ratio of people from 60 years old upwards accounted for 10.2 percent of total population in 2014, pushing the country into the period of old population three years earlier than prediction.

Acknowledging the issue, Vietnam has issued the Law on the Elderly, a national action programme on the elderly and many other policies, along with adjustments in social welfare to meet the demand of the elderly, she said.

Minh stressed the need to learn experiences from other countries to build a sustainable retirement policy and a brighter future for the elderly in Vietnam, a country with low income and the highest population aging speed in the world.

Nguyen Khang, Deputy Director of the VSS’s Department of International Cooperation, noted that Vietnam has faced many challenges in employment and labour, along with poor social welfare system. The income gap between those with the lowest and highest income remains high, at 500 times, while only a modest number of 13.9 million people have joined social insurance, he said.

Khang also warned that the social insurance fund is facing a risk of imbalance in 2035.

Julian Adams from the insurance firm Prudential underlined the need for stronger cooperation between the Government, enterprises and the public.

Meanwhile, Josef Pilger from Ernst & Young Group recommended that Vietnam should study the social situation carefully in designing pension policy reform measures as well as retirement policies and social welfares.

Participants at the event also pointed to the need to expand the subjects of social insurance, including labourers in informal sector and women employers, along with the adjustment of policy to ensure social insurance fund’s balance and the strengthening of efficiency of the investment of the fund.