Private sector workers can receive their pensions at age 60, but will have to meet certain conditions, a government official said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the 10-year achievement ceremony of the National Social Security Fund on Tuesday, NSSF director Ouk Samvithya said garment workers and informal workers needed to meet certain conditions before receiving their pensions upon retirement.
However, he declined to speak in detail until the draft pension scheme was complete.
“Right now, I do not want to speak in detail because it is still in the draft phase. I can say that whoever gets a pension from NSSF will have to have seniority and be contributing to the fund,” Mr Samvithya said. “When they are 60-years-old they will get a pension from the government.”
“I cannot say yet how much workers will have to contribute to receive their pension,” he added. “You will know when the law is completed because we will disseminate it to everyone.”
Prime Minister Hun Sen has told workers from the garment and footwear industry during his recent weekly visits that they would get retirement benefits starting in 2019.
Mr Hun Sen said that under the scheme, workers who retire will receive 80 percent of their salary.
Kaing Monika, deputy secretary-general of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, said previously that he welcomed the scheme but noted it would be another burden to industry owners.
Mr Samvithya said more than 10,000 enterprises have registered with the NSSF over the past 10 years, seeing 1.4 million workers contribute about $107 million to the NSSF, which has been using the funds to pay for workers’ health treatments, funeral services and other social protection schemes.
He added more than 10,000 foreign workers were also registered with the NSSF.
Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, said yesterday it was good that Cambodian workers would receive a pension upon retirement, but noted the age limit set by the government was too old.
“I do support the government creating a pension scheme for our workers, but 60 is too old to get a pension,” he said. Mr Sina suggested the government set the retirement age for workers at between 45 and 50 because garment factories usually do not allow labourers to work until the age of 60.
“The factory will ship the old workers out, saying they are too old to work. Old people work slower than young workers,” he said.
Mr Hun Sen announced late last year that the retirement age for civil servants was 60 years old.
A pension scheme for people working in the private sector was first discussed in March last year and was hoped to be launched in late 2017.
Mr Samvithya said at the time the scheme was created to protect workers in the private sector when they retire.
“The NSSF plans to process the pension scheme soon for the private sector. To date they have never had one,” he said in 2017.