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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Pension scheme eyed for non-gov’t workers

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Garment workers produce items of apparel at a factory in Kandal province earlier this year. Heng Chivoan

Pension scheme eyed for non-gov’t workers

Labour Ministry spokesman Heng Sour said yesterday that a new pension scheme for private sector employees under the umbrella of the existing National Social Security Fund (NSSF) would be finalised and implemented next year.

The NSSF, in which garment factories are still the primary participants, was set up in 2007 to provide workers with injury insurance, health insurance and pensions. While the first two have been set up, the Labour Ministry has yet to implement a pension scheme for the private sector.

Sour said private sector employees are currently paying taxes but not getting any post-retirement benefits from the government, unlike civil servants, who are already entitled to pensions.

“When they [private sector employees] are retired or lose their job, they do not get any support from the government, but civil servants get it,” he said.

While in the initial stages of consultation, Sour said that pensions could be drawn once an employee reaches age 63 and has at least 20 years of contribution to the fund. This payment, matched by an equal payment from employers, could be around 5 to 7 percent of a worker’s gross salary, he added.

Ath Thorn, president of the Cambodian Labour Confederation, welcomed the move, adding that he was hoping to include provisions for those who could not make the 20 years of contributions.

“We have advocated for years to have this pension scheme, because it is good for employees who would not have to worry anymore about money for supporting their lives after retirement,” he added.

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