Social Security Programs Throughout the World: Asia and the Pacific, 2008

 

Thailand

Exchange rate: US$1.00 equals 38.49 baht.

Old Age, Disability, and Survivors

Regulatory Framework

First and current law: 1990 (social security), implemented in 1991 and 1998, with amendments.

Type of program: Social insurance system.

Coverage

Employees aged 15 to 60.

Voluntary coverage for self-employed persons and for persons who cease to be covered after having compulsory coverage for at least 12 months.

Exclusions: Employees of foreign governments or international organizations; agricultural, forestry, and fishery employees; temporary and seasonal workers; and Thai citizens working abroad.

Special systems for judges, civil servants, employees of state enterprises, and employees of private schools.

Source of Funds

Insured person: 3% of gross monthly earnings for old-age and family benefits. Disability and survivor benefits are financed under Sickness and Maternity (see below).

Voluntary contributors pay 9% of 4,800 baht of earnings. Voluntary contributions finance old-age, disability, and survivor benefits; sickness and maternity benefits; and family benefits.

The minimum monthly earnings for contribution calculation purposes are 1,650 baht.

The maximum monthly earnings for contribution calculation purposes are 15,000 baht.

Self-employed person: A voluntary flat-rate annual contribution of 3,360 baht.

The self-employed person's contributions finance disability, survivor, and maternity benefits.

Employer: 3% of monthly payroll for old-age and family benefits. Disability and survivor benefits are financed under Sickness and Maternity (see below).

The minimum monthly earnings for contribution calculation purposes are 1,650 baht.

The maximum monthly earnings for contribution calculation purposes are 15,000 baht.

Government: 1% of gross monthly earnings for old-age and family benefits only. Disability and survivor benefits are financed under Sickness and Maternity (see below).

The minimum monthly earnings for contribution calculation purposes are 1,650 baht.

The maximum monthly earnings for contribution calculation purposes are 15,000 baht.

Qualifying Conditions

Old-age pension: Age 55 with at least 180 months of contributions. Employment must cease. If a pensioner starts a new job, the pension is suspended until the end of employment.

Deferred pension: A deferred pension is possible.

Old-age settlement: Age 55 with at least 1 month but less than 180 months of contributions. Employment must cease.

Disability pension: Must be incapable of work and have at least 3 months of contributions in the 15 months before the onset of a total physical or mental disability. The benefit is paid after entitlement to the cash sickness benefit ceases.

Medical officers assigned by the Social Security Office assess the degree of disability annually. The benefit may be suspended if the medical committee of the Social Security Office determines that the disability pensioner is rehabilitated.

Survivor benefit: A lump sum is paid if a pensioner dies within 60 months after becoming entitled to the old-age pension.

The lump sum is split among the surviving spouse, legitimate children, and a surviving father or mother, according to the number and category of survivors.

Death benefit: Paid if the deceased had at least 1 month of contributions in the 6 months before death or was a disability pensioner. The death must be the result of a nonwork-related injury or illness.

The eligible survivor is the deceased's named beneficiary; in the absence of a named beneficiary, the benefit is split equally among the surviving spouse, children, and parents.

Funeral grant: Paid if the deceased had at least 1 month of contributions in the 6 months before death or was a disability pensioner. The death must be the result of a nonwork injury or illness.

Old-Age Benefits

Old-age pension: The pension is equal to 20% of the insured's average monthly wage in the last 60 months before retirement.

The minimum monthly earnings for benefit calculation purposes are 1,650 baht.

The maximum monthly earnings for benefit calculation purposes are 15,000 baht.

Old-age pension increment: If the insured has paid contributions exceeding 180 months when reaching the pensionable age, the benefit is increased by 1.5% of the insured's average monthly wage in the last 60 months for each 12-month period of contributions exceeding 180 months.

There is no minimum pension.

Deferred pension: If the insured has paid contributions exceeding 180 months at the time the pension is first received, the benefit is increased by 1.5% of the insured's average monthly wage in the last 60 months for each 12-month period of contributions exceeding 180 months.

Permanent Disability Benefits

Disability pension: 50% of the insured's average daily wage in the highest paid 3 months during the 9 months before the disability began is paid until death.

The minimum monthly earnings for benefit calculation purposes are 1,650 baht.

The maximum monthly earnings for benefit calculation purposes are 15,000 baht.

There is no minimum pension.

Benefit adjustment: Benefits are adjusted on an ad hoc basis according to changes in the cost of living.

Survivor Benefits

Survivor benefit: A lump sum is paid equal to 10 times the deceased's monthly old-age pension.

Death benefit: If the deceased paid contributions for more than 36 months but less than 10 years, a lump sum is paid equal to 50% of the insured's average monthly wage in the highest paid 3 months during the 9 months before death multiplied by 3. If the deceased paid contributions for 10 or more years, a lump sum is paid equal to 50% of the insured's average monthly wage in the highest paid 3 months during the 9 months before death multiplied by 10.

Funeral grant: 40,000 baht is paid to the person who paid for the funeral.

Administrative Organization

Ministry of Labor (http://www.mol.go.th) provides general supervision.

Social Security Office (http://www.sso.go.th) collects contributions and pays benefits.

Sickness and Maternity

Regulatory Framework

First and current laws: 1990 (social security), implemented in 1991 and 1998, with amendments; and 1990 (sickness and medical benefits).

Type of program: Social insurance system.

Coverage

Employees aged 15 to 60.

Voluntary coverage for self-employed persons and for persons who cease to be covered after having compulsory coverage for at least 12 months.

Exclusions: Employees of foreign governments or international organizations; agricultural, forestry, and fishery employees; temporary and seasonal workers; and Thai citizens working abroad.

Special systems for judges, civil servants, employees of state enterprises, and employees of private schools.

Source of Funds

Insured person: 1.5% of gross monthly earnings (1.06% finances sickness and maternity benefits; 0.44% finances disability and survivor benefits). For voluntary contributors, see source of funds under Old Age, Disability, and Survivors, above.

The minimum monthly earnings for contribution calculation purposes are 1,650 baht.

The maximum monthly earnings for contribution calculation purposes are 15,000 baht.

Self-employed person: See source of funds under Old Age, Disability, and Survivors, above.

Employer: 1.5% of monthly payroll (1.06% finances sickness and maternity benefits; 0.44% finances disability and survivor benefits).

The minimum monthly earnings for contribution calculation purposes are 1,650 baht.

The maximum monthly earnings for contribution calculation purposes are 15,000 baht.

Government: 1.5% of gross monthly earnings (1.06% finances sickness and maternity benefits; 0.44% finances disability and survivor benefits).

The minimum monthly earnings for contribution calculation purposes are 1,650 baht.

The maximum monthly earnings for contribution calculation purposes are 15,000 baht.

Qualifying Conditions

Cash sickness and medical benefits: Must have at least 3 months of contributions in the 15 months before the onset of incapacity or the date of treatment.

The insured must provide medical certification.

Cash maternity, childbirth grant, and medical benefits: Must have at least 7 months of contributions in the 15 months before the expected date of childbirth.

Cash maternity benefits are paid to an insured woman. The childbirth grant is paid to an insured woman or to the wife of, or a woman who cohabits with, an insured man. The childbirth grant is paid to cover the cost of medical expenses related to childbirth.

Maternity benefits are paid for two childbirths only.

Sickness and Maternity Benefits

Sickness benefit: The benefit is equal to 50% of the insured's average daily wage in the highest paid 3 months during the 9 months before the incapacity began. The benefit is paid from the first day of certified absence from work (after the end of entitlement to statutory sick pay, usually 30 days, under the labor law) for up to 90 days for each illness and for up to 180 days in any calendar year; may be extended up to 365 days for a chronic condition.

The minimum monthly earnings for benefit calculation purposes are 1,650 baht.

The maximum monthly earnings for benefit calculation purposes are 15,000 baht.

There is no minimum benefit.

Maternity benefit: The benefit is equal to 50% of the insured's average daily wage in the highest paid 3 months during the 9 months before maternity leave and is paid for up to 90 days for each childbirth.

The minimum monthly earnings for benefit calculation purposes are 1,650 baht.

The maximum monthly earnings for benefit calculation purposes are 15,000 baht.

There is no minimum benefit.

Childbirth grant: A lump sum of 12,000 baht is paid.

Workers' Medical Benefits

Medical examination and treatment, hospitalization, medicines, ambulance fees, rehabilitation, and other necessary expenses are provided under the capitation system.

The insured must register with a hospital that is under contract and benefits are delivered by the hospital with which the insured is registered. Medical care outside this hospital can be sought in case of emergency and accident only, in which case costs are reimbursed according to fixed rates.

There are no provisions for cost sharing.

Disability pensioners are entitled to receive subsidized medical care and rehabilitation.

Dependents' Medical Benefits

Necessary medical care related to childbirth for the wife of, or a woman who cohabits with, an insured man.

Administrative Organization

Ministry of Labor (http://www.mol.go.th) provides general supervision.

Social Security Office (http://www.sso.go.th) collects contributions and pays cash benefits.

Medical benefits are delivered by hospitals under contract to the Social Security Office.

Work Injury

Regulatory Framework

First law: 1972 (announcement of the revolutionary party), implemented in 1974.

Current law: 1994 (workmen's compensation).

Type of program: Employer-liability system, involving compulsory insurance with a public carrier.

Coverage

Employees of industrial and commercial firms.

Exclusions: Agricultural, forestry, and fishery employees.

Special systems for government employees, employees of state enterprises, and employees of private schools.

Source of Funds

Insured person: None.

Self-employed person: Not applicable.

Employer: 0.2% to 1% of annual payroll, according to the degree of risk.

The contribution is made annually. Beginning with the 5th year of contributions, the company's accident rate is taken into account when assessing the degree of risk.

There are no minimum earnings for contribution calculation purposes.

The maximum annual earnings for contribution calculation purposes are 240,000 baht.

Government: None.

Qualifying Conditions

Work injury benefits: There is no minimum qualifying period.

Temporary Disability Benefits

The benefit is equal to 60% of the insured's monthly wage before the disability began, according to the schedule in law. The benefit is paid after a 3-day waiting period for a maximum of 1 year; the benefit is paid retroactively if the incapacity lasts more than 3 days. The insured must be unable to work.

There are no minimum earnings for benefit calculation purposes.

The maximum annual earnings for benefit calculation purposes are 240,000 baht.

The minimum monthly benefit is 60% of the minimum daily wage multiplied by 26 and must not exceed 60% of the monthly average wage.

The maximum monthly benefit is 12,000 baht.

Permanent Disability Benefits

Permanent disability benefit: For a total disability, the pension is equal to 60% of the insured's monthly wage before the onset of disability and is paid for a maximum of 15 years. Permanent disability benefits are paid according to the schedule in law.

The minimum monthly benefit is 60% of the minimum daily wage multiplied by 26 and must not exceed 60% of the average monthly wage.

The maximum monthly benefit is 12,000 baht.

Permanent partial disability benefit: The pension is equal to 60% of the insured's monthly wage before the disability began. The benefit is paid for at least 2 months up to a maximum of 10 years, according to the schedule in law. In certain cases, the benefit may be paid as a lump sum.

The degree of disability is assessed annually by medical officers assigned by the Social Security Office.

Benefit adjustment: Benefits are adjusted on an ad hoc basis.

Workers' Medical Benefits

All necessary medical, surgical, and hospital services.

A maximum limit on the cost of medical benefits is set at 35,000 baht for each incident of work injury or occupational disease; up to 200,000 baht in certain specified cases, depending on the decision of the medical committee of the Office of Workmen's Compensation Fund.

Rehabilitation services are provided up to 20,000 baht.

Survivor Benefits

Survivor benefit: The pension is equal to 60% of the deceased's last monthly wage and is paid for up to 8 years. (A reduced benefit may be paid as a lump sum.)

Eligible survivors include parents, the spouse, and children younger than age 18 (no limit if a student or disabled). The pension is split equally among all eligible survivors. In the absence of eligible survivors, any other dependent persons may be entitled.

The minimum monthly benefit is 60% of the minimum daily wage multiplied by 26 and must not exceed 60% of the average monthly wage.

The maximum monthly benefit is 12,000 baht.

Benefit adjustment: Benefits are adjusted on an ad hoc basis.

Funeral grant: A lump sum is paid equal to 100 times the highest minimum daily wage. The benefit is paid to the person who paid for the funeral.

Administrative Organization

Ministry of Labor (http://www.mol.go.th) provides general supervision.

Social Security Office (http://www.sso.go.th) administers the program through the Office of Workmen's Compensation Fund, which collects contributions and pays cash benefits.

Medical benefits are provided by hospitals under contract with the Social Security Office and meeting the standards of the Office of Workmen's Compensation Fund.

Unemployment

Regulatory Framework

First and current law: 1990 (social security), implemented in 2004.

Type of program: Social insurance system.

Coverage

Employees aged 15 to 60.

There is no voluntary coverage.

Exclusions: Judges; employees of foreign governments or international organizations; employees of state enterprises; agricultural, forestry, and fishery employees; temporary and seasonal workers; and Thai citizens working abroad.

Source of Funds

Insured person: 0.5% of gross monthly earnings.

The minimum monthly earnings for contribution calculation purposes are 1,650 baht.

The maximum monthly earnings for contribution calculation purposes are 15,000 baht.

Self-employed person: Not applicable.

Employer: 0.5% of monthly payroll.

The minimum monthly earnings for contribution calculation purposes are 1,650 baht.

The maximum monthly earnings for contribution calculation purposes are 15,000 baht.

Government: 0.25% of gross monthly earnings.

The minimum monthly earnings for contribution calculation purposes are 1,650 baht.

The maximum monthly earnings for contribution calculation purposes are 15,000 baht.

Qualifying Conditions

Unemployment benefit: The insured must have at least 6 months of contributions in the 15 months before unemployment.

The insured must be registered with the Government Employment Service Office, be ready and able to accept any suitable job offer, and report not less than once a month to the Government Employment Service. Unemployment must not be due to performing duties dishonestly; intentionally committing a criminal offense against the employer; seriously violating work regulations, rules, or lawful order of the employer; neglecting duty for 7 consecutive days without reasonable cause; or causing serious damage to the workplace as a result of personal negligence.

The Social Security Office may suspend benefit payments for failure to comply with conditions.

Unemployment Benefits

If involuntarily unemployed, the benefit is equal to 50% of the insured's average daily wage in the highest paid 3 months in the 9 months before unemployment and is paid for up to 180 days in any 1 year; if voluntarily unemployed, the benefit is equal to 30% of the insured's average daily wage and is paid for up to 90 days in any 1 year.

The benefit is paid from the 8th day of unemployment.

The maximum daily benefit is 250 baht.

Administrative Organization

Ministry of Labor (http://www.mol.go.th) provides general supervision.

Social Security Office (http://www.sso.go.th) collects contributions and pays benefits.

Department of Employment (http://www.doe.go.th), subordinate to the Ministry of Labor (http://www.mol.go.th), registers the unemployed insured person for job placement and training through the Government Employment Service Office.

Department of Skill Development (http://www.dsd.go.th), subordinate to the Ministry of Labor, trains the unemployed insured person for a new job.

Family Allowances

Regulatory Framework

First and current law: 1990 (social security), implemented in 1998, with amendments.

Type of program: Social insurance system.

Coverage

Employees aged 15 to 60.

Voluntary coverage for persons who cease to be covered after having compulsory coverage for at least 12 months.

Exclusions: Employees of foreign governments or international organizations; agricultural, forestry, and fishery employees; temporary and seasonal workers; and Thai citizens working abroad.

Special systems for judges, civil servants, employees of state enterprises, and employees of private schools.

Source of Funds

Insured person: See source of funds under Old Age, Disability, and Survivors, above.

Self-employed person: Not applicable.

Employer: See source of funds under Old Age, Disability, and Survivors, above.

Government: See source of funds under Old Age, Disability, and Survivors, above.

Qualifying Conditions

Child allowance: The insured must have at least 12 months of contributions in the 36 months before the month of entitlement.

The benefit is paid for legitimate children younger than age 6, but for no more than two children at a time. If the insured becomes disabled or dies while the child is younger than age 6, the allowance is paid until the child is age 6.

Family Allowance Benefits

Child allowance: A monthly allowance of 350 baht is paid for each child.

Administrative Organization

Ministry of Labor (http://www.mol.go.th) provides general supervision.

Social Security Office (http://www.sso.go.th) collects contributions and pays benefits.