|Unemployed people register for jobs at an job guidance centre in Nghe An Province. Less than one-quarter of the population have social insurance, meaning that the national target of achieving 50 per cent participation by 2020 will be difficult to realise. — VNA/VNS Photo Anh Tuan
HA NOI (VNS) — Less than one-quarter of the population had social insurance, meaning that the national target of achieving 50 per cent participation by 2020 would be difficult to realise, experts cautioned.
Only 23.3 per cent of the workforce was participating in the social insurance programme at the end of the second quarter, a tiny increase from the first quarter's figure of 23.2 per cent, according to the Viet Nam Social Insurance Agency.
The primary reason for the lack of coverage was that enterprises frequently sought to evade making compulsory social insurance payments, according to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA). About 300,000 companies failed to pay their employees' social insurance fees during the quarter. Enterprises currently owed more than VND7.79 trillion (US$357.5 million) in such payments, an increase of nearly 5 per cent compared to last year's first quarter.
Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Pham Minh Huan pointed out that economic woes in recent years had led to the creation of more jobs in the informal sector, where workers cannot enjoy insurance benefits.
While the Government encouraged informal workers, including farmers, to sign up for social insurance, only a minuscule proportion of them could afford to do so.
He recommended that the Government provide support to informal workers to participate in the policy, but noted that this was difficult considering the limited budget.
Without insurance, informal workers are forced to depend completely on their children when they retire.
Director of the Institute for Labour Science and Social Affairs Nguyen Thi Lan Huong hoped the new Law on Social Insurance and the revised Employment Law would improve the situation.
As of July 1, more than 51,600 people received social insurance benefits, a drop of 4.7 per cent against the same quarter of 2013, according to the Viet Nam Social Insurance Agency. However, over 3.16 million people enjoyed sickness, maternity and health recovery benefits, an increase of 26.3 per cent from the same quarter last year.
While social insurance coverage remained low, participation in unemployment insurance increased, MoLISA noted. By the end of the second quarter, there were 8.8 million people with the policy nationwide, equal to 78.5 per cent of those participating in compulsory social insurance. This was an increase of 5.5 per cent compared to the same period last year. — VNS