The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) scheme for the private sector under the provisions of the Labour Law has now taken effect, after the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training announced the closure of a 90-day campaign to promote the system.

NSSF deputy director-general Heng Sophannarith confirmed to The Post on October 2 that the pension scheme had begun on October 1, and that the first contribution had to be paid in November.

“Employers will deduct two per cent from the workers. The employer will match this contribution in order to ensure a total of four per cent is paid to the NSSF,” he told The Post on October 2.

Sophannarith said that as of October 2, a total of 1,466,725 workers from more than 13,300 registered businesses were obligated to make the contributions.

Labour minister Ith Samheng announced the end of the campaign to promote the implementation of the system on September 29, with a total of about 500 people from ministries, institutions, development partners, associations, employers, unions and workers’ representatives in attendance.

Ouk Samvichea, the NSSF director-general, said the campaign reached 1,072,425 workers, or 73 per cent of the NSSF’s total members.

“Compared to the number of workers in the textile-related sectors, we have reached 128 per cent, so we have achieved a much greater success than we hoped. Employers, business owners and workers have expressed their satisfaction with the pension system and have all agreed to participate,” he said.

At the September 29 event, Samheng said that a complete social security system must contribute to the whole cycle of people’s lives, including birth, old age, illness and death.

He said that the NSSF, as a social security operator, has made a significant contribution to alleviating the hardships of the people from birth. The system provides prenatal and postnatal check-ups, and also makes provisions for up to 90 days of maternity leave, as well as additional government subsidies.

“When they reach working age, workers are covered by the fund’s occupational risk and accident insurance, so they will receive medical treatment, rehabilitation services, and regular daily pay should a work accident mean they cannot work. If they should die on the job, their families will receive compensation,” he added.

When a member of the NSSF enters old age, Samheng said the government would provide protection via the pension plan. Following the death of a member, a cremation allowance would be arranged.

In 2008, the labour ministry introduced Occupational Risk Insurance for public officials. In 2016, the government launched health insurance for private sector employees. A 24-hour health insurance programme for public official was established in 2018. In general, Samheng said, both private sector workers and public officials shared the same social coverage.

“In the past, pensions were only available to civil servants and workers in the private sector did not receive them. The introduction of the new NSSF is a historical moment for the workers of Cambodia,” he said.