Cabinet approves B4.5bn to cover SSF shortfall

Cabinet approves B4.5bn to cover SSF shortfall

The cabinet has approved a 4.5-billion-baht fund to partially cover people's reduced contributions to the Social Security Fund (SSF) from next month until July, said government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana.

The fund was to offset the reduction in monthly contributions for the three-month period.

The government agreed to let subscribers to the SSF contribute significantly less so they will have more money left to weather the current economic hardships.

From May to July, salaried employees under Section 33 of the Social Security Act will be required to contribute only 1% of their monthly income -- capped at 15,000 baht -- down from 5% previously, in order to be covered by the welfare scheme.

Former employees under Section 39 who continue to contribute to the SSF after leaving their jobs will see their payments lowered from 9% to 1.9% over the same period. Non-mainstream "independent" workers who conduct small-scale trading as outlined by Section 40, such as vendors and farmers, will have their overall contributions slashed to 42-180 baht per month.

The monthly SSF contributions include a fund for the elderly, which will start being disbursed to members on a monthly basis when they reach retirement age.

The 4.5 billion baht approved by the cabinet on Tuesday will help offset the reduction in the elderly fund portion of the contributions during the three-month period. For example, those insured under Section 33, whose overall monthly contributions will be brought down to 1%, will see their contributions climb back up to 2.95% a month thanks to the money the government is pouring into the SSF.

Mr Thanakorn said about 4.8 million SSF subscribers will benefit from the 4.5-billion-baht injection. However, in the future, the SSF might require people to contribute more to compensate for the reductions, he added.

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