Only 25% of workers covered by social insurance

Update: April, 28/2017 - 10:00
Retired people gets retirement pension in HCM City. — Photo

HCM CITY — Achieving the target of social insurance for 50 per cent of the country workers within three years will be a formidable challenge, since only 24.6 per cent out of 53 million workers have joined the system so far, according to Bùi Sỹ Lợi, Deputy Chairman of the National Assembly Committee for Social Affairs.

Lợi spoke yesterday at the opening of the 6th plenary meeting in HCM City of the NA’s Committee for Social Affairs on implementation of social insurance policies, the management and use of the insurance fund in 2016 and the report on the implementation of the national targets. Reports presented to the committee pointed at widespread violations by employers of social insurance obligations to their workers.

According to a report represented at the meeting, by the end of 2016, the total number of people participating in social insurance topped 13 million, some 775,000 more than in 2015. The amount of social insurance collection was estimated at VNĐ174.5 trillion (US$7.8 billion) while the compulsory social insurance debt was VNĐ6.55 trillion ($291 million).

Deputy Phạm Xuân Thăng from the northern province of Hải Dương raised concerns over the transparency of the collection, management and use of social insurance fund. “This has a great impact on those who are paying for social insurance so they need to know about their money and it should be transparent,” Thăng said.

2016 was the first year the social insurance system underwent specialised inspections. Social insurance agencies at all levels conducted nearly 7,600 inspections of more than 13,000 employers. They found that more than 39,400 workers were uninsured or underpaid for over VNĐ23.6 billion (more than $1 million); 11,600 workers were paid less than their salary rate for more than VNĐ9 billion ($900,000). Meanwhile, 6,800 people were found wrongly benefiting from social insurance of nearly VNĐ7.9 billion ($351,000).

Doãn Mậu Diệp, deputy minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs said that inspections showed that violations by enterprises of the social insurance law were rife. “Typical offenses include failing to pay or paying insufficiently for social insurance of labourers, appropriating employees’ social insurance premiums, recording the wage in the labour contract lower than the actual wage, or signing seasonal contracts to avoid paying social insurance,” Diệp said.

In 2016, more than 201,000 enterprises paid social insurance, but this number was very low compared with 470,000 operating enterprises, Thăng said. “The enterprises have a lot of ways to evade insurance while we have not had effective measures to encourage or force them to pay,” he said, asking for more potent and legal sanctioning solutions.

Lợi urged the Việt Nam Social Insurance to closely co-ordinate with the Việt Nam General Confederation of Labour in initiating lawsuits against enterprises owing social insurance debts, and increase the efficiency of investment in social insurance and unemployment insurance funds in order to ensure safety and growth. — VNS