NSF in search of 1.2m members
The National Savings Fund (NSF), a voluntary pension fund for self-employed workers, expects its members will reach 1.2 million by year-end after the Interior Ministry pushed efforts to educate people about the fund's benefits.
The NSF's members number close to 1 million following the ministry's efforts, said Prasong Poontaneat, permanent secretary for finance and also the fund's chairman.
The target of 1.2 million members is double the total of 600,000 from the end of 2018, he said.
The ministry has promoted the NSF through sub-district and village headmen, saying it can strengthen the financial security of those not covered by pension funds after they retire, said Mr Prasong.
The ministry already promoted the fund in 30 provinces and it plans to campaign throughout all 77 by year-end, hoping to increase NSF membership significantly, he said.
The NSF has 910,000 members currently, with a combined contribution from members and the government of 5 billion baht.
The government has made efforts to raise the number of NSF members to 1 million since it was set up in 2015.
The NSF is a retirement safety net for self-employed workers who are not covered by a pension fund, social security or provident fund. People aged 15-60 are eligible to apply for membership.
The structure requires voluntary pension fund members to make a minimum contribution of 50 baht a month, up to a maximum of 13,200 baht a year.
The government makes a matching contribution of up to 50% of whatever those aged 15-30 choose to pay, up to 600 baht a year.
For those aged 31-50, the government will match up to 80% of their contributions, up to 960 baht a year. Those over 50 can have their contribution fully matched by the state up to 1,200 baht a year.
The NSF granted certificates to 20 provinces that had the best performance in the raising membership of the fund. Among them, Narathiwat province showed the highest growth of 70%, followed by Nakhon Sawan at 50%.