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    118645

    Vietnam: expanding the social security system.

    Pruzin D

    WORLD OF WORK. 1996 Sep-Oct; (17):10-1.

    Viet Nam's shift toward a market-oriented economy has been associated with annual gross domestic product growth of more than 8% over the past 5 years. At the same time, the emergence of private-sector enterprises and subsequent closure of many state-run enterprises have had profound implications for Viet Nam's social protection systems. At present, only 5.6 million of the country's 33 million workers are covered under the state-run social insurance system. In 1995, the government moved to include private enterprises with 10 or more employees in its state benefits system. The International Labor Organization (ILO) has been working with the Vietnamese Government to design and implement a social security system that would extend coverage progressively to excluded sectors and provide support to workers who have become unemployed as a result of the economic transition process. At its Eighth National Congress, the Vietnamese Communist Party approved a 5-year social and economic plan calling for such an expansion of the social insurance system as well as for a guaranteed standard of living for pensioners. To facilitate anticipated changes, activities that were previously divided between the Ministry of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs and the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor have been assigned to the newly formed Vietnam Social Insurance (VSI) Organization. Under consideration is a plan to combine some VSI activities with those of the Vietnam Health Insurance Organization. The ILO will assist with training, computerization, and social security fund investing. Noncompliance is a major obstacle to planned expansion of the social security system; about 90% of private firms are still not paying into the system.
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