December 07, 2012 00:00 By THAMMARAT KIJCHALONG
The Social Security Office yesterday expressed concern that the plan to lower employers' monthly contributions further could threaten the stability of the Social Security Fund (SSF).
As the government’s policy to raise the minimum daily wage to Bt300 takes effect across the country next month, employers have demanded that the monthly contributions, equivalent to 2 per cent of their employees’ salaries (the maximum salary ceiling recognised by the SSF is Bt15,000), be lowered throughout 2013.
“If this demand is met, SSF will receive Bt40 billion less than what it should next year,” Social Security Office secretary-general Jeerasak Sukhontachart said yesterday.
The SSF offers employees medical, old-age, unemployment, disability and childbirth benefits.
If its income from the monthly contribution decreases, authorities will have to decide how to find money to be able to provide the benefits.
According to Jeerasak, the employers’ monthly contributions – if reduced – should at least amount to 4 per cent of the employees’ salaries.
“We are now in the process of gathering details about the impact from the lowering by 2 per cent,” he said.
Jeerasak said the board of the Social Security Office (SSO) would convene a meeting on December 18 to decide whether to accept the demand made by the employers.
Labour Ministry permanent secretary Somkiat Chayasriwong said employers also wanted the monthly contributions lowered by 1 per cent in 2014.
“They suggested that the contributions for the medical benefits may be optional and employees should be allowed to simply use the universal-healthcare scheme instead,” he said.
Somkiat said the government had introduced a number of measures to cushion the significant wage hike on employers. Among them were tax incentives and soft loans.