|Head of the NA’s Committee for Social Affairs Nguyen Thuy Anh delivers a speech at the 25th session of the National Assembly Standing Committee__Photo: VNA|
The National Assembly Standing Committee on August 17 gave opinions on the draft amended Law on Social Insurance, focusing on the proposal that elderly people who did not receive a pension or other monthly social insurance benefits would be eligible for social retirement allowances provided by the State budget.
An important part in the draft amended law was the addition of social retirement benefits to establish a multi-tiered social insurance system in accordance with Resolution 28-NQ/TW. The draft law stipulated that Vietnamese citizens aged 75 and above, without receiving pensions or other monthly social insurance benefits, would be entitled to receive social retirement benefits.
This aimed to achieve the target of having approximately 60 per cent of people after retirement age receiving monthly pensions, regular social insurance benefits, and social retirement benefits by 2030.
During the session, Minister of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung reported that under the new regulations, employees who reached retirement age but paid social insurance premiums for less than 15 years or those who had not yet reached the age of 75 to receive retirement benefits as stipulated would be eligible for monthly benefits.
They would also be covered by health insurance while receiving monthly benefits. The amount of the monthly allowance would depend on the employee’s insurance contribution period, salary, monthly income and would be maintained until they reached the eligible age or the insurance contribution period required to receive social retirement benefits, he explained.
Dung emphasized that this regulation would increase the number of monthly benefit recipients without significantly increasing the budget expenditure.
As of the end of 2022, Vietnam had approximately 14.4 million people beyond retirement age (55 for women and 60 for men and above). The total number of individuals receiving pensions, monthly social insurance benefits, and social retirement benefits was over 5.1 million, accounting for about 35 per cent of the total retired population.
The number of elderly individuals benefiting from this policy would be more than 800,000.
Dung also said that the amended draft law stipulated that employees who had contributed for a minimum of 15 years upon reaching retirement age would be eligible for monthly pensions.
This provision aimed to create opportunities for those who joined social insurance at the ages of 45-47, or engaged in specialized short-term work that prevented them from accumulating the required 20 years of contributions.
It would provide them with the chance to receive monthly pensions and ensure healthcare insurance coverage upon retirement age.
Furthermore, this provision contributed to reducing the number of lump-sum withdrawals, he said.
During the review of the draft amended law, head of the NA’s Committee for Social Affairs Nguyen Thuy Anh stated that the majority of the committee's standing members and some opinions from parliamentary agencies agreed with the amended law.
However, she recommended the Government thoroughly assess the impact of the social retirement benefits provision on the State budget and policy conflict when including the scope of adjustment and application of the Law on the Elderly into this legislative project, which affected the policy of encouraging voluntary social insurance participation by employees.
Regarding the conditions for benefiting this policy, she suggested the Government continue to carefully evaluate the impact and provide additional information to the National Assembly deputies to enhance the persuasiveness of this policy proposal.
Optimal approach for lump-sum social insurance payment was also among issues tabled for discussion.
The draft amended law presented two options for eligibility criteria for lump-sum payment. Option 1 stipulated that those who participated in social insurance before the amended Law on Social Insurance took effect in July 1, 2025 and had more than 12 months of unemployment would be eligible for lump-sum benefit. Those who participated in social insurance after that time would not be allowed to get the payment, except for cases of emigration for settlement, or being afflicted by life-threatening diseases as defined in Article 60 of the current Law on Social Insurance.
Option 2 stipulated that those had after 12 months of not being obligated to participate in compulsory social insurance and not participating in voluntary social insurance, but having contributed to social insurance for less than the required 20 years would be given a maximum of 50 per cent of the total contributions to the retirement and survivorship fund. The remaining period of social insurance contributions would be preserved for the employee to continue participating and benefiting from various social insurance schemes.
The NA's Social Committee indicated that each option proposed by the Government had certain advantages and disadvantages. Due to the complexity and sensitivity of this issue, which impacted the rights of workers and long-term social welfare, the NA Social Committee recommended that the Government continue to consult, gather public opinions, and involve the directly affected parties in this matter.- (VNA/VLLF)