Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Pension systems immature in Asia: ADB

Pension systems immature in Asia: ADB

Pension systems immature in Asia: ADB

Pension systems in many parts of developing Asia are unprepared and underfunded for the region’s rapidly ageing population, according to a book launched on Tuesday by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

“Across Asia, great divides exist in pensions available in rural and urban areas, between retirees from the public and private sectors, and those leaving the informal and formal job sectors,” ADB principal economist Donghyun Park said.

“Without far-reaching reforms, the financial burden of these schemes on future workers may become more than they can bear.”

The book examines pension systems in China, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

According to Park, in Cambodia pensions and old-age saving schemes are limited to civil servants and war veterans.

“As a result, only a small segment of the working population is covered.”

“Benefit levels do not provide income security and barely enable pensioners to meet basic needs,” he said. “The average civil servant’s pension is about US$60 a month, while the average veteran receives $23 ar month.”

Six per cent of Cambodia’s population was aged over 60 in 2010, according to Pension Watch, an online resource for policy-makers and development practitioners on non-contributory pensions.

The projection for 2050 lies at 17 per cent.

According to Vuthy Kim, project manager at the Cambodia Retirement Village, the Cambodian population is ageing rapidly.

He said there was no overall pension system in Cambodia and elderly people relied on their children’s support.

“This has changed a lot in recent decades, and the support from children is not enough.”

In traditional Cambodian culture, children took care of their parents and grandparents, but the Khmer Rouge regime had left some people without families and many young people had left home to find work in the cities or in other countries, Kim said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anne Renzenbrink at [email protected]


  • Government denies claims former Thai PM Yingluck issued Cambodian passport

    Government officials on Thursday denied claims that a Cambodian passport was issued to former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who reportedly used it to register a company in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong-based English language South China Morning Post (SCMP) on Wednesday reported Hong Kong

  • US’ Cambodian ambassador appointment blocked

    The US Senate returned the nomination of Patrick Murphy as Ambassador to Cambodia back to US President Donald Trump on Thursday, as the American government shutdown entered its third week. The US Senate website announcement said it returned Murphy’s nomination as ambassador as his

  • Diplomatic passports issued to foreigners to be annulled

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will move to annul diplomatic passports issued to those not born in Cambodia. Analysts say the move may be in relation to reports that former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra used a Cambodian passport to register as

  • Hun Sen warns Irish MP of EBA ‘mistake’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday told former Irish premier Enda Kenny, still a member of the EU nation’s parliament, that the 28-nation bloc should not make a “third mistake” regarding Cambodia by using the preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement to “take 16 million