More employees in Thailand may be about to delay retirement

A growing ageing population and labour shortage has fuelled more discussion over the possibility of raising the retirement age beyond 55.
By: | September 20, 2023

Thailand’s Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) has initiated discussions on raising the retirement age beyond 55 to address the country’s growing elderly population and labour shortage.

According to the FTI, changes to Thailand’s demographic landscape requires an evaluation of retirement age policies. The Ministry of Labour, recognising the importance of addressing this issue, has expressed its interest in revisiting the retirement age framework and seeks input from the business sector.

Suchart Chantaranakaracha, Vice-Chairman of the FTI, said, “We discussed with the Labour Ministry a plan that will suit Thai society. Authorities want the FTI’s help because it has employment information on employees of all ages in various industries.”

The FTI has taken a proactive role in this endeavour, compiling a database on Thailand’s elderly population, including senior employees, which will be provided to the Ministry of Labour. This database aims to assist in formulating a plan to enhance the care and support provided to elderly citizens.

The catalyst for this discussion is Thailand’s transition into an “aged society”. Statistics from the Thai Health Promotion Foundation indicated that individuals aged 60 and above now constitute more than 20% of the nation’s population of 66 million.

One key area of concern is the retirement age set by the Social Security Office under the Ministry of Labour, which currently stands at 55. This has resulted in a situation where the Social Security Fund receives fewer contributions while facing a growing obligation to pay out benefits.

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In the private sector, organisations have varying policies regarding retirement age, with many adhering to the prevailing age of 55. The FTI believes that raising the retirement age could be a viable solution, allowing elderly individuals to continue working in roles suited to their capabilities and experience, reported Bangkok Post.