Press "Enter" to skip to content

Thailand’s Social Security at Risk: Reform Needed to Secure Elderly Pensions

Order Cannabis Online Order Cannabis Online

In the heart of bustling Phra Nakhon, elderly citizens gathered in early January 2022, eagerly awaiting their turn to register for the much-needed benefits. A testament to the enduring spirit of the community, this scene, beautifully captured by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul, illustrates the critical importance of social support systems.

The Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) has recently raised a flag of caution regarding the sustainability of the Social Security Fund (SSF). This alertive note comes at a crucial juncture, suggesting a pivotal change: the government should consider increasing its contribution to SSF from the current 12.75% to a more robust 18%. This recommendation accompanies a pressing call to clear the staggering 71.4 billion baht in outstanding debts owed to the fund.

In March 2023, the FPO’s fiscal risk report shed light on potential perils, drawing attention to both recent and future fiscal vulnerabilities. Among the highlighted concerns is the sustainability of old-age pensions under the SSF. This fund, pivotal for various expenditures including accidents, illness, unemployment, and retirement benefits for eligible members over 55 years old with at least 15 years of contribution, is under scrutiny.

With the cost of old-age pensions escalating (2.3 trillion baht in 2023 up from 1.9 trillion baht in 2018), the FPO emphasized the urgency of monitoring fund adequacy. A startling revelation from a recent study shows that the ratio of estimated revenue to net expenditure over the next 75 years stands at a mere 0.07 times, a figure alarmingly low by global standards. Comparatively, the largest 100 state pension funds in the US maintain an average funding ratio of about 0.7 times. The funding ratio, an essential metric, indicates the proportion of a pension plan’s assets relative to its liabilities.

In response, an anonymous source from the Finance Ministry suggested pivotal measures. Among these is the proposal to uplift the additional contribution rate to 18%, coupled with raising the retirement age and expanding the base for maximum wage inclusion. These changes, if enacted, promise to fortify the fund’s resilience.

Details from the source underscore the Labour Ministry’s contemplation of new draft ministerial regulations. These regulations aim to set a minimum and maximum wage for calculating social security contributions, with a proposed gradual increase in the maximum wage base from 15,000 baht to 23,000 baht. Such an increase would naturally lead to higher overall contributions into the fund, appeasing some of the fiscal shortfalls.

Emphasizing the necessity of strategic budget allocations, the source highlighted the importance of addressing the outstanding SSF contributions of 71.4 billion baht by September 2023. This prioritization is essential for stabilizing the fund’s financial health.

Reflecting on recent history, the source recounted the government’s pandemic-era measures that temporarily reduced SSF contributions, aiming to alleviate economic strain on members during those tumultuous times. Although these short-term measures were beneficial during the height of the crisis, they presented only transient risks. With contribution rates now restored to pre-pandemic levels and a decreased demand for illness benefits following the pandemic’s waning, the primary focus has shifted back to long-term stability.

The narrative of Phra Nakhon’s elderly, waiting patiently for their entitlements, exemplifies the broader societal reliance on robust social security frameworks. The road ahead calls for prudent fiscal strategies and resilient policy adjustments, ensuring the sustenance of support systems for generations to come.


  1. Nina Mia July 8, 2024

    This situation clearly shows the dire need for reforms in Thailand’s social security system. How can we expect our elderly to live with dignity if the funding is grossly inadequate?

    • 24SevenThai July 8, 2024

      It’s not just about increasing the contribution rates. What about the underlying mismanagement and corruption? Until that’s addressed, no amount of money will make a difference.

      • Nina Mia July 8, 2024

        You raise a valid point. Corruption is a huge issue, but the elderly can’t wait for systemic changes before they get the support they need.

      • Aaron Smith July 8, 2024

        But do we really know how much corruption actually affects the fund? Blaming corruption can sometimes be a diversion from deeper fiscal issues.

  2. Boomer John July 8, 2024

    Why not just let people save for their own retirement instead of relying on the government? Less dependency would mean less strain on the Social Security Fund.

    • grower134 July 8, 2024

      That sounds great in theory, but not everyone has the capacity or financial knowledge to save for retirement. The safety net is essential for those who fall through the cracks.

      • Boomer John July 8, 2024

        Then educate them! Financial literacy should be a priority in schools. Dependency only creates more problems.

    • Larry D July 8, 2024

      Individual saving sounds good, but what about inflation and those who have unpredictable careers? Not everyone can just ‘save enough’ for retirement.

  3. Sam T. July 8, 2024

    Increasing the contribution rate to 18% isn’t fair to the current working population who are already struggling with high living costs.

  4. Jas July 8, 2024

    The current funding ratio of 0.07 times is shocking. This is way lower than the US state pension funds. What a deplorable state!

    • Thai Realist July 8, 2024

      Comparing us to the US is unrealistic. Their economic structure is totally different, and they’re facing their own pension crises too.

    • Jas July 8, 2024

      Still, these numbers should be a wake-up call. We can learn from their mistakes and implement better strategies here.

  5. Kimmy July 8, 2024

    It’s about time we raised the retirement age! People are living longer, healthier lives, and can definitely work a few more years.

  6. Dr. Mark W. July 8, 2024

    The proposal to gradually increase the maximum wage base for contributions could stabilize the fund. But it needs to be implemented carefully to avoid undue burden on middle-income earners.

    • Elle Marie July 8, 2024

      Totally agree. A sudden increase could lead to financial strain and public backlash. Gradual changes are always better.

  7. Sakchai July 8, 2024

    Are we just going to ignore the 71.4 billion baht in outstanding debts? This should be priority number one!

    • Munny32 July 8, 2024

      Absolutely! Any talk of reforms is meaningless if the current debts aren’t addressed first.

  8. Grace L. July 8, 2024

    The reduction of SSF contributions during the pandemic was necessary, but now it’s time to face the consequences head-on and make tough decisions for the future.

  9. TechGuy July 8, 2024

    Why not use tech to make the fund management more transparent and efficient? Blockchain could help reduce corruption and mismanagement.

  10. Hannah Davis July 8, 2024

    Thailand needs to establish a bipartisan committee to work out these reforms. Only mutual cooperation can solve such a deep-rooted issue.

  11. KenChan July 8, 2024

    Why always increase contribution? There should be more investment and better management to increase the fund’s revenue.

  12. AnneK July 8, 2024

    So sad to see elderly waiting like that in Phra Nakhon. The system is failing them when they need support the most.

    • Sam T. July 8, 2024

      Completely agree. No one should have to wait and worry about their survival like this.

  13. financialGuru July 8, 2024

    Raising the contribution rate and retirement age seems necessary but unpopular. We need leaders who can make these tough decisions without worrying about reelection.

  14. Vince T. July 8, 2024

    If the Labour Ministry is serious about these changes, why isn’t there more public consultation? These decisions affect everyone and should be transparent.

  15. SkaterBoi July 8, 2024

    Big corporations should pay more into the SSF! It’s always the little people who bear the burden.

  16. Kayla July 8, 2024

    Criticizing without solutions isn’t going to help. We need productive dialogues and realistic plans.

  17. Aaron Smith July 8, 2024

    The fund’s assets are nowhere near enough to meet long-term liabilities. Only a series of drastic reforms can stave off a crisis.

  18. Maggie P. July 8, 2024

    Remember, social security is not just about money. It’s about collective responsibility and societal values. We can’t afford to let our elderly down.

  19. Order Cannabis Online Order Cannabis Online

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More from ThailandMore posts in Thailand »