Vietnam textile sector opposes plan to hike retirement age

May 24, 2019 - Vietnam

Vietnam’s textile firms have rejected the proposal to raise employees’ retirement ages, saying most women workers suffer from huge workload-related stress in a job environment that requires intense focus for 10 hours a day. The government is drafting a bill to raise the retirement age by two years for men to 62 and by five years for women to 60.

Mny women workers in fact want to retire at 45, and therefore, the existing retirement age of 55 is already unreasonable, according to Bui Duc Thinh, chairman of Song Hong Garment JSC,, who said some even bribe doctors to have medical grounds for early retirement.

A representative of the Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association (LEFASO) said women textile workers tend to retire at 35-40 and use their retirement benefits to open their own small business like a garment or barber shop. Most of them quit before 50, says a report in a Vietnamese newspaper.

Truong Van Cam, general secretary of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association, said the retirement age should be increased first for administrative jobs, while in manufacturing it could come in the next five or 10 years.

Dao Thi Thu Huyen of the Japanese Business Association in Vietnam (JBAV) said Vietnam’s life expectancy is 10 years less than Japan’s, but both countries have the same retirement age of 60.

The proposal to increase the retirement age stems from the fact that social insurance funds are limited, Pham Minh Huan, former deputy minister of labour, invalids and social affairs, said.

Vietnam’s retirement and social benefit funds are forecast to face shortfalls from 2023, and the government will be required to subsidise the pension system from 2034, according to the International Labour Organisation. (DS)