Ministry of Labour holds a meeting of concerned authorities to discuss preparation for and ways to address population aging in Thailand.
Ministry of Labour held a meeting of the ministry’s Taskforce on the Determination of Elder Persons Measures and the Monitoring of Elder Persons’ Rights, which was set up in according to Older Person Act B.E. 2013. The meeting, the first of its kind, was chaired by Mr. Peerapat Pornsirilertkit, Inspector-General of Ministry of Labour and chairperson of the taskforce.
Thailand became an aging society in 2005. It is expected that in the next 30 years, the number of elder persons will increase by 12.1 million, form 8.4 million to 20.5 million while the number of young and working-age people will decline.
This change in the population structure will affect the country’s economy. Growth in products and services will be limited due to less number of consumers. There will also be shortages of labour, while labour productivity will decrease.
In an aging society, a country will need to rely more upon working-age people. The country, therefore, will need good social protection system and ensure its people have enough saving for living after they are retired.
It has been found that most elder persons are not well educated and they mostly work in agricultural sector. They often face with poverty, health problem and insufficient saving for living after retirement.
In case of Thailand, the government gives elder persons old-age allowance. The allowance is calculated using ladder formula to increase protection for elder persons. The government is trying to bring elder persons back into work system and improve their skills so they could perform their work more effectively as well as to ensure they have good quality of lives.
To achieve all these, cooperation among concerned agencies from government and private sector such as Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Social Development and Social Security, Ministry of Finance is needed.
As for Ministry of Labour, it is drafting measures to promote employment opportunities. They concern employment promotion measure, legal measures (income tax reduction and extension of retirement age) and others (working environment improvement, skill training, promoting community employment, saving promotion, and promoting the use of elder persons’ knowledge).