VSS to be supported by IMF to expand social insurance coverage, ensuring sustainable growth of the social insurance fund

17/03/2023 07:34 AM

On March 2, at the headquarters of Vietnam Social Security (VSS), General Director Nguyen The Manh had a working session with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expert delegation on technical assistance of the IMF in assessing and expanding the coverage of social insurance, especially the informal labor sector; building and transferring the model of forecasting social insurance funds, training to use the model and improving the capacity to calculate the balance of funds for the VSS.

VSS General Director Nguyen The Manh suggested that the IMF continue to maintain support activities to improve the capacity to expand participants for the VSS,

especially in the informal sector.

The meeting attendants, on the VSS' side, included Deputy General Director Dao Viet Anh; leaders of the Department of Social Insurance Book and Health Insurance Card; Department of Social Insurance Implementation; Department of Finance and Accounting; Department of Planning and Investment; Department of International Cooperation; Institute of Science and Information Technology Center.

The side of IMF Expert Delegation included Resident Representative, Vietnam/Lao PDR - Francois Painchaud; Senior economist and Head of the expert delegation - Csaba Feher; Senior economist - Samir Jahan and members of the delegation.

At the meeting, the VSS General Director informed that, currently, the coverage of social, health and unemployment insurance is expanding with impressive growth. By the end of 2022, the number of social insurance participants is 17.5 million people, accounting for 38.08% of the labor force in age; the number of unemployment insurance participants increased from nearly 6 million in 2009 to more than 14.3 million in 2022, an increase of nearly 2.4 times; the number of health insurance participants increased from 7.1 million in 1995 to more than 91.1 million in 2022, an increase of 12.8 times, reaching the coverage rate of 92.04% of the population - basically fulfilling the target of universal health insurance.

IMF Expert Delegation

Notably, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic heavily affecting the lives, labors and jobs of people and employees, in the past 3 years (from 2020 to 2022), Vietnam's social security industry has actively and drastically joined ministries and branches in advising the Party, State, Government and Prime Minister to promulgate mechanisms and policies to support employees and employers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, the social and health insurance funds have become the largest social security funds, which are managed and utilized for the right purposes, safely, effectively, openly and transparently under the supervision of the National Assembly, the Government, and the Board of Commissioners. Recently, the VSS has issued a Decision to establish a team to calculate the balance of social, unemployment and health insurance funds for the Vietnamese social security industry.

However, according to Manh, currently, the VSS has been facing a number of challenges in increasing the coverage of social insurance, especially in the informal sector. On that basis, Manh suggested that the IMF continue to maintain support activities to improve the capacity to expand participants for the VSS, especially the informal sector towards ensuring social security for all workers.

Overview of the meeting

The IMF is a reputable organization and regularly supports the Government of Vietnam in providing policy advice and technical assistance in the fields of finance, banking and monetary and foreign exchange policies. Manh hoped that the IMF would support the development of Vietnam's social insurance industry through consultations and policy adjustments with relevant ministries and branches and coordinate with donors and other international partners to co-finance support for the VSS in the near future.

Appreciating the results achieved by the VSS, IMF Resident Representative, Vietnam/Lao PDR - Francois Painchaud said that the VSS has made important strides in expanding social insurance coverage, including informal sector action. At the same time, the VSS has been effectively implementing solutions to ensure that the social insurance fund is used safely and for growth.

The delegation of IMF experts and VSS leaders took a souvenir photo

With the function of monitoring the global economic and financial situation as well as those of member countries and advising member countries on economic policy, and providing short and medium-term financial assistance to member countries experiencing temporary balance of payments difficulties and technical assistance, the IMF will assist the VSS in assessing and expanding social insurance coverage, especially the informal labor sector.

Regarding the joint program, the Head of the Expert Group and Senior Economist - Csaba Feher hoped that the IMF and the VSS would develop a coordinated program with the medium- and long-term plan, instead of the current short-term plan. Sincerely thanking the attention of the IMF, VSS General Director Nguyen The Manh said that strengthening the overall technical and training capacity in the field of management and use of the fund and expanding the coverage of social insurance is not only the task of the VSS but also the concern of the Party, State, National Assembly and Government of Vietnam./.