Building a Social Insurance Law Ensuring Safe, Sustainable, and Effective Policies

25/08/2023 08:06 AM

Continuing the Session, on the morning of August 17, the National Assembly Standing Committee gave opinions on the Draft Law on Social Insurance.

During the Session, after Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung presented the Proposal on the draft Law on Social Insurance on behalf of the project’s reviewing agency, Chairwoman of the Social Committee Nguyen Thuy Anh emphasized that the Standing Committee fundamentally agrees with the objectives and guiding principles for constructing the draft Law as outlined in the Proposal by the Government. However, it was suggested that the Law on Social Insurance should reflect historical context, societal psychology, population dynamics, public health, and be based on scientific evidence, practicality, thorough evaluation, specific calculations, high forecasting capacity, and legal compliance regarding social insurance policies and legislation.

The policies and impacts aimed at the objectives set forth in Resolution No. 28 of the 12th Central Executive Committee on social insurance policy reform (Resolution No. 28) should be in line with the practical development of labor relations and the labor market in our country, as well as the capacity of the state budget and long-term sustainability of the Social Insurance Fund.

Chairman of the National Assembly, Vuong Dinh Hue, speaking at the Session. Photo: Quochoi

According to Chairwoman of the Social Committee, Nguyen Thuy Anh, it is necessary to have fundamental innovations to address existing limitations and challenges in practice. It is important to analyze the advantages of the proposed policy amendments and supplements and consider the reactions of workers, employers, and other regulated entities to policy adjustments. Additionally, the impacts on the political, socio-economic situation, and public opinion should be taken into account.

The draft Law is fundamentally in line with the Party’s orientations and guidelines, in accordance with the provisions and spirit of the Constitution, ensuring unity and consistency within the legal system and compatibility with relevant international conventions. The Standing Committee of the Social Committee proposes that the Government conducts a specific and comprehensive assessment of the relationship between the Social Insurance Law and other laws regulating social insurance policies (such as the Employment Law, Occupational Safety and Health Law, and Elderly Law), as well as provides an update on the implementation of Resolution 15-NQ/TW on social policy during the 2012-2020 period.

Minister Dao Ngoc Dung presented the Proposal on the draft Law on Social Insurance.

Speaking at the session, Chairman of the National Assembly, Vuong Dinh Hue, emphasized that social insurance is one of the pillars of social security policy, closely aligned with the resolutions, particularly Resolution No. 28-NQ/TW on social insurance policy reform. The ideology of social insurance undergoes fundamental reforms, thereby selecting content that closely adheres to the resolutions, including the recent Resolution No. 20-NQ/TW on continuing innovation, development, and enhancing the efficiency of collective economy in the new period.

The principles of contributions and benefits, as well as the investment fund, are also closely adhered to. One of the reasons for a lump-sum withdrawal of social insurance is due to the excessively long contribution period (20 years). During difficult times, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, when the waiting period for social insurance benefits is too long (20 years), some workers tend to prioritize immediate needs, resulting in the phenomenon of lump-sum withdrawals.

Nguyen The Manh, Director-General of the Vietnam Social Security, made a statement.

Hue mentioned that in terms of expanding the coverage of social insurance, there are new economic models such as the sharing economy, and the nature of labor relations has changed significantly.

Regarding the reduction of the contribution period for social insurance, according to the resolution of the Central Committee, there are two options, and the Social Committee has proposed five viewpoints, each with its own advantages. Among them, option 2 is more flexible and balanced. The Chairman of the National Assembly suggested studying the five proposals put forward by the Social Committee for calculation. As for the provision that after one year of leaving employment, a worker does not receive a lump-sum social insurance payment but continues to retain the contribution period, they can receive health insurance benefits paid by the social insurance fund. The maximum period for receiving health insurance benefits is equal to the contribution period of the worker. This content needs further careful consideration.

Overview of the Session.

The requirement of the current Law and the draft Law on Social Insurance is to independently account for each component fund. If this provision is applied, it needs to be clarified from which component fund the social insurance fund pays for health insurance benefits for workers who retain their contribution period. It cannot be broadly stated as the social insurance fund.

Additionally, it is necessary to clarify the basis for determining the amount of health insurance contributions, whether it is based on the worker’s pre-employment salary, the general minimum wage, regional minimum wage, and how the health insurance contribution is calculated. Does this regulation reduce the incentive for mandatory participation in the labor market to contribute to social insurance? Does it reduce the motivation for voluntary participation in social insurance by workers?

The draft Law on Social Insurance has been drafted and reviewed in a scientific and serious manner by the responsible agencies. In particular, the Ministry of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs and the VSS have reached a high level of consensus during the process of drafting the Law./.