The increasing elderly population in Thailand is prompting a serious discussion on raising the retirement age beyond 55 to accommodate an "aged society" and deal with an ongoing labour shortage in the country, says the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).
The Labour Ministry is interested in setting a new retirement age and needs more information, especially from the business sector.
The FTI is creating a database on the number of elderly people in Thailand, including senior workers, to send to the ministry to help it design a plan to provide them with better care.
"We discussed with the Labour Ministry a plan that will suit Thai society," said Suchart Chantaranakaracha, vice-chairman of the FTI.
"Authorities want the FTI's help because it has employment information on workers of all ages in various industries."
Thailand became an aged society last year, meaning the number of people aged 60 and older made up more than 20% of the population of 66 million, according to the Thai Health Promotion Foundation.
The Social Security Office under the Labour Ministry set a retirement age for its Social Security Fund of 55, resulting in the fund receiving fewer payments while needing to pay out more, according to media reports.
The government, employers and employees pay monthly contributions to the fund until employees retire.
There are 12-13 million subscribers to the Social Security Fund.
In the business sector, companies differ based on their policies on whether the retirement age should be increased, said Mr Suchart.
Companies have varying retirement ages, with many of them setting the limit at 55.
The FTI believes it is a good idea to raise the retirement age because it would enable elderly people to continue working, helping companies carry out jobs that suit their ages, he said.
"Raising the retirement age is a ministry suggestion, but it needs to be seriously considered as Thailand faces lower birth rates and a labour shortage," said Mr Suchart.