Monday, 11 Dec 2017
SOCIAL AFFAIR

Efforts to increase number of participants in voluntary social insurance

Updated at Saturday, 07 Oct 2017, 14:22
The Hanoitimes - A recent survey on unofficial employees at Hanoi and Nghe An of the International Labor Organization (ILO) has shown, approx. 62% interviewees did not know about the voluntary social insurance.
At the conference “Employment - Related Issues and Policy Approach for informal employment in Vietnam”, on October 6, Director of Research Center on Population, Labor and Jobs under the Institute of Labor Science and Social Affairs said: participants in voluntary social insurance said the payment period for voluntary social insurance is too long; the retirement age for man is 60 and 55 for woman are high; benefits for voluntary social insurance are less then the usual social insurance. Specifically, when taking part in voluntary social insurance, participants can only have retirement regime and survivorship allowance, while the usual social insurance has additional benefits such as sickness benefits, maternity allowance, labor accident and occupational disease allowances. 
 
Overview of the workshop.
Overview of the workshop.
Comparing for commercial insurance, voluntary social insurance lacks flexibility and conditions for employee to easily approach, which are reasons why only few employees choose the voluntary social insurance. 

Currently, more than 35% of the unofficial labor force has not participated in voluntary social insurance, but want to join to receive pension after retirement. However, they want to reduce the payment period, the goverment to increase the support, reduce the minimum payment or the allowance, and other benefits similar to usual social insurance, such as sickness, maternity allowance, labor accident and occupational disease allowances. Another important issue which employees are concerning, which is information with regard to voluntary social insurance must be clear and in detail, the payment and receive allowance procedures must be convenient and flexible similar to commercial insurances. 

Sharing the status of participants in voluntary social insurance of unofficial employees at Van Quan Ward, Ha Dong District, the Vice Chairwoman of the Van Quan Ward People’s Committee Vu Thi Ha said: “the local government has integrated promoting voluntary social insurance with working policies and health insurance in meeting of the farmer association, women association, youth union. However, the number of participants in voluntary social insurance is still low compared to health insurance”. 

Mrs. Ha listed 3 reasons and suggestions for this issue. At present, public officials in wards do not have knowledge about the voluntary social insurance, so that they need to be trained to be more efficient in promoting voluntary social insurance. The number of personnel in ward is limited, which need to be reinforced to better carrying out their assignment. In order to expand the coverage of voluntary social insurance and voluntary health insurance, Mrs. Ha suggested to encourage and promote more extensively in local community with regard to the importance of these two policies. Especially is the connection and involvement of related administrative agencies, organizations, and the support of citizens in local area to increase the number of participants in voluntary social insurance and voluntary health insurance.

Meanwhile, ILO suggested the voluntary social insurance policies to be divided in categories, so that the promotion will be more efficient. Vietnam should consider to add more policies in voluntary social insurance similar to social insurance, including sickness benefits, maternity allowance, labor accident and occupational disease allowances. At the same time, it should reduce the payment period (with 15 years at least), in which divide participants in age group and profession. As such, with middle aged employees from 40 years and above can still participate in voluntary social insurance. 

At the same time, Vietnam can expand the payment network for voluntary social insurance through post office, e-banking. ILO stressed, the pilot implementation of assigning target number to increase participants in voluntary social insurance should be included in the target for socio – economic development of the province to improve the situation. 
Ngoc Thuy - Thuy Truc
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