In recent years, Viet Nam’s social protection system has grown and progress has been made towards building a multi-tiered pension system offering universal coverage for all citizens through a combination of social insurance and tax-financed pensions. However, despite strong economic growth, Viet Nam is, as yet, unable to offer all of its citizens a guaranteed pension in old age. The pension gap remains large: around 66 per cent of people aged 65 and over go without, As a result making old age for the majority of Viet Nam’s citizens a time of insecurity and uncertainty.
In this report, commissioned by the International Labour Organization, Development Pathways’ Stephen Kidd, Bjorn Gelders and Anh Tran focus on the social pension and examine two options for expanding it to achieve universal coverage. Their analysis demonstrates how reducing the age of eligibility of the current social pension could guarantee a minimum level of income security for all older people. The report concludes that, if the proposals were adopted, old age poverty in Viet Nam would fall considerably and that, even at the relatively low value of VND350,000 (US$ 15.00) per month, all of Viet Nam’s citizens would be able to benefit from a more decent life in their later years.