The Social Security Office (SSO) is pushing amendments to the social security legislation to maximise benefits for the elderly and increase the age for pension payout from 55 to 60, as the country is in a transition towards becoming an ageing society.
Under the draft amendments, recipients of old-age pensions will be allowed to apply as insured persons under Section 39 of the Social Security Act on a voluntary basis, after which they will be entitled to enjoy three types of benefits — illness, disability and death.
Under the current system, senior citizens who choose to claim their pension will receive a lump-sum payment when they reach 55. However, their access to illness, disability and death benefits is terminated once they claim their pension.
The SSO is putting up the first draft for public hearings, which can also be accessed online, before moving on to House and cabinet deliberation.
An official source told the media that the push for the amendment came after numerous retirees complained about the issue.
“Many retirees with health problems, such as hypertension and diabetes, chose not to claim their pension to retain their status as insured persons in order to maintain access to health benefits,” the source said.
The law is also being amended to increase the age for pension payouts from 55 to 60, in order to allow senior citizens to increase their contribution to the Social Security Fund. The source said the change will ultimately benefit pensioners, as the amount of financial assistance paid to them depends on how long they have contributed to the SSF, the source said.
The proposed amendments also seek to allow workers insured under Section 33 and Section 39 to enjoy welfare benefits for six months after the subscription ends. Moreover, those insured under Section 39 will not be fined for late or missed contributions, the source said.
Other benefits include increased compensation for disability from 50% to 70% of the daily wage, capped at 500 baht per day or 15,000 baht per month.