Thursday, October 22, 2020

Covid forces half a million to quit national pension fund

Sep 09. 2020
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By The Nation

Membership of the National Savings Fund (NSF) has dropped by 500,000 to 2.4 million during the Covid-19 crisis, as people have been unable to maintain their annual contributions, said its secretary-general Jaruluk Ruangsuwan.

.The NSF is designed to take care of workers who are not protected by the Social Security fund.

This year, encouraging workers in the informal sector to join the fund to save for retirement had been extremely difficult, she said.

“On a positive note, about 30 per cent of members increased their contributions out of the targeted 50 per cent, she added.

Combined savings of the 2.4 million current members amount to Bt8 billion. They save a combined Bt100 million per month at an annual rate of 1.3 per cent, compared to the 0.5 per cent on bank savings.

The NSF on Tuesday signed an agreement with the Office of SMEs Promotion (OSMEP) to encourage 79,000 small-business workers not covered by the Social Security fund to join the pension fund.

The first 3,000 new members who contribute the maximum Bt13,200 a year would be handed the chance to win Bt1 million in a lottery, she said.

The NSF’s minimum contribution is Bt50 per year. 

For those aged 15-30, the government tops up their contributions by 50 per cent to a maximum Bt600 per year. Those aged over 30-50 receive 80 per cent up to a maximum Bt960, while people aged 50-60 get 100 per cent up to a maximum Bt1,200 a year.

Members of the fund include farmers, taxi drivers, the self-employed, small-shop owners and professionals.

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