Govt asked to pay back SSF money
A labour union has asked the government to return the 66 billion baht it owes the Social Security Fund (SSF) so it can be invested and managed for the best interests of all SSF members.
President of the Automobile Labour Congress of Thailand, Manit Promkareekul, said the government should start paying what it owes to the SSF, so that the Social Security Office (SSO) can re-invest it and use the revenues to improve welfare benefits for subscribers.
The call came after Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, through a letter dated Nov 8, asked the SSO to consider making better use of the money by extending loans to subscribers.
About 10 million workers contribute part of their salaries into the fund each month to receive social security coverage.
Besides workers, employers -- including government agencies -- also contribute to the fund.
However, delayed payments by government agencies have led to the SSO delaying payouts to subscribers.
Mr Manit said subscribers are concerned that the order will put the SSF and pension payments at risk.
He also insisted that use of the SSF must abide by existing social security law and related regulations.
"Even though the proposal has drawn strong opposition and the government appears ready to back down, the workers still have to make their objections heard," said Mr Manit.
Experts are critical of the proposal and argued that the SSO has neither the experience nor the necessary tools to become a lender and, as such, it is ill-suited to managing loans.