Call for retirement age to rise

A proposal that the retirement age be raised in the amended Labor Law will be submitted to the National Assembly (NA) in 2017, according to Deputy Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Pham Minh Huan.

The retirement age for women will either become 58 or 60 years of age under the proposal, up from 55, and 62 years of age for men from 60. The ministry said it is concerned that social insurance funds will be insufficient as the population ages.

Careful consideration is required about bridging the gap in retirement age between men and women, Mr Huan said.

Raising the retirement age for women from 55 to 60 and for men from 60 to 62 were previously proposed to the NA and rejected. The ministry will therefore continue to collect opinions from related agencies and experts, he said.

Many people are concerned that older staff will stay in their positions longer and younger will have less opportunities for promotion. The health of older staff after working for longer is also a matter of some concern.

At a press conference on October 4, Minister and Chairman of the Office of the Government Mai Tien Dung said a rise in the retirement age is unavoidable and been seen in many other countries. The retirement age has not changed for a long time in Vietnam but there have been many changes in living standards, such as life expectancy.

Any rise in the retirement age would have to consider a range of factors, such as socioeconomic conditions, incomes, and pensions.    

People employed in hazardous conditions are currently able to retire earlier. The Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) said that Vietnam’s older population is increasing very quickly, from 6.9% of the population in 1979 to 10.5% now.

By 2050 Vietnam is forecast to have 10 million elderly and under existing policies the funding of pensions will be problematic by 2051.

Ms Celine Peyron-Bista, an analyst at the International Labor Organization (ILO) on social insurance in ASEAN, said that Vietnam’s population is aging very quickly.

Life expectancy increased from 66 in 1990 to 76 in 2014. 

She estimated that at the current retirement ages, the proportion of retirees over people of working age will be 59.5% in 2049 and 77.7% in 2099, from 19.4% in 2009.

While the number of people of working age fall, people of retirement age is higher, she said, and Vietnam need to increase the retirement age to balance its finances. She also suggested that the retirement age for women be the same as for men, as a matter of equal rights.

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Vietnam may raise retirement age to respond to aging population
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 Vietnam may raise retirement age as seniors' health improves

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