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Vietnam gov’t asks legislature to amend insurance law for workers’ sake

Friday, May 22, 2015, 20:50 GMT+7
Vietnam gov’t asks legislature to amend insurance law for workers’ sake
This file photo shows workers processing 'tra' fish for export at a factory in Vietnam.

The Vietnamese government has proposed that the law-making National Assembly (NA) revise a new rule on social insurance to offer laborers two options on how to receive social insurance allowances once they leave a job, and most NA deputies have agreed to the proposal.   One of the options is that laborers stake a lump-sum social insurance payment upon their resignation, and the other option is that laborers continue paying insurance premiums – voluntarily or through their new employers – and receive their social insurance payment upon retiring. Minister of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs Pham Thi Hai Chuyen, on behalf of the government, on Thursday submitted to the National Assembly a proposal to amend Article 60 of the 2014 Law on Social Insurance, which revised the 2006 Law on Social Insurance and will take effect on January 1, 2016. Pursuant to the article, the scope of employees eligible to receive a lump-sum social insurance allowance when they resign from work is narrowed. That means only a limited number of people are entitled to such lump-sum payments, while the other resigned employees must wait until they reach their retirement age to get or receive such lump sums. In Vietnam, the retirement age is 60 for men and 55 for women. This new regulation faced strong opposition from workers at Pou Yuen Vietnam Co. Ltd., a Taiwanese-invested maker of sport shoes and garments for export in Binh Tan District, Ho Chi Minh City.Tens of thousands of Pou Yuen workers went on strike on March 26, and they agreed to resume work on April 2 after competent agencies promised to consider their aspirations. These workers argued that they likely could not continue to work until they retire, so if they quit their jobs in the near future they would have to wait for a long time to get such payment.

Some workers said they might quit their current job and start business on their own in the future, so they wanted to get lump sums upon resignation as capital for their new career. Most strikers requested that the law give them the right to decide on either taking a lump-sum social insurance allowance or accumulating their periods of payment of social insurance in order to receive a pension when they retire. After listening to these opinions and aspirations, the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs, and the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor, submitted them to the central government for consideration.  At the government’s monthly meeting on April 1, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung decided that the government would propose that the NA amend the new rule in order to allow employees to take lump-sum social insurance payments when they leave a company, instead of waiting until they reach the age of retirement.Law must be based on laborers’ interest At yesterday’s NA meeting, Minister Chuyen said, “The government proposes that the NA consider amending Article 60 of the 2014 Law on Social Insurance so that laborers can choose to either take lump-sum social insurance payments upon resignation or continue paying premiums and receiving such payment upon retirement.” Most NA deputies said they supported the proposal, as it meets laborers’ aspirations. The president of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor, Dang Ngoc Tung, said that reality shows that some laborers are facing difficulties and want to get a lump-sum social insurance allowance upon resignation, instead of waiting until they retire. They can use such lump-sum allowances to pay for their urgent needs or to invest in a new business of their own, Tung said.

“I think that most NA deputies will agree to the government’s proposal to amend the law,” Tung added. Nguyen Thi Hoai Thu, former chairwoman of the NA Committee for Social Affairs, also said that any policy or regulation must ensure the legitimate rights and interests of both employees and employers. The NA should listen to the opinions of the government and the committee and then discuss them carefully before amending Article 60. Whether this article is revised or not belongs to the authority of the NA, and if the law-making body decides that it should be amended to give laborers the two above mentioned options, then such an amendment can be made in the 10th session of the NA in Novermber, as the 2014 Law on Social Insurance will not take effect until January 1, 2016.Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

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