Social Security Programs Throughout the World: Asia and the Pacific, 2012

 

Thailand

Exchange rate: US$1.00 = 30.84 baht.

Old Age, Disability, and Survivors

Regulatory Framework

First and current law: 1990 (social security), implemented in 1991, 1998, and 2011.

Type of program: Social insurance system.

Note: A new voluntary social security system for informal sector workers was initiated in 2011. The scheme is based on contributions from workers and government to finance old-age, disability, survivors, sickness, and maternity benefits.

Coverage

Formal-sector system: Employed persons.

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

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

Informal-sector system: Voluntary coverage for informal-sector workers.

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

Source of Funds

Insured person

Formal-sector system: 3% of gross monthly earnings (old-age benefits). Voluntarily insured persons pay an annual flat-rate contribution of 5,184 baht (disability and survivors benefits).

The insured person's contributions also finance family benefits. See Sickness and Maternity for disability and survivors benefits.

Voluntary contributions also finance maternity benefits.

The minimum monthly earnings used to calculate contributions are 1,650 baht.

The maximum monthly earnings used to calculate contributions are 15,000 baht.

Informal-sector system: 70 baht a month (disability and survivors benefits) or 100 baht a month (old-age, disability, and survivors benefits). Additional contributions are possible for the old-age benefit.

The insured's contributions also finance sickness benefits.

Self-employed person

Formal-sector system: An annual flat-rate contribution of 5,184 baht (disability and survivors benefits).

The self-employed person's contributions also finance maternity benefits.

Informal-sector system: 70 baht a month (disability and survivors benefits) or 100 baht a month (old-age, disability, and survivors benefits). Additional contributions are possible for the old-age benefit.

The self-employed person's contributions also finance sickness benefits.

Employer

Formal-sector system: 3% of monthly payroll (old-age benefits).

The employer's contributions also finance family benefits. Disability and survivor benefits are financed under Sickness and Maternity.

The minimum monthly earnings used to calculate contributions are 1,650 baht.

The maximum monthly earnings used to calculate contributions are 15,000 baht.

Informal-sector system: None.

Government

Formal-sector system: 1% of gross monthly earnings (old-age benefits).

The government's contributions also finance family benefits. Disability and survivor benefits are financed under Sickness and Maternity.

The minimum monthly earnings used to calculate contributions are 1,650 baht.

The maximum monthly earnings used to calculate contributions are 15,000 baht.

Informal-sector system: 30 baht a month (sickness, disability, and survivor benefits) or 50 baht a month (old-age, sickness, disability, and survivor benefits).

Qualifying Conditions

Old-age pension

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

Old-age pension increment: Paid if the insured had more than 180 months of contributions at the pensionable age.

Deferred pension: The pension may be deferred.

Old-age settlement (formal-sector system): Age 55 with at least one month, but less than 180 months of contributions. Employment must cease.

Old-age lump sum (informal-sector system): Age 60 and not insured under the formal-sector system.

Disability pension

Disability pension (formal-sector system): Must be incapable of work and have at least three months of contributions in the 15 months before the total physical or mental disability began. 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 medical committee of the Social Security Office may suspend the benefit if it determines that the disability pensioner is rehabilitated.

Disability pension (informal-sector system): Assessed with a disability and not insured under the formal-sector system. Must have at least six months of contributions in the 10 months before the disability began.

Survivor benefit

Survivor benefit (formal-sector system): Paid if a pensioner dies within 60 months after becoming entitled to the old-age pension.

Eligible survivors include a widow(er), legitimate children, and a surviving parent.

Death benefit (formal-sector system): Paid if the deceased was a disability pensioner or had at least one month of contributions in the six months before death. The death must be the result of a nonwork-related injury or illness.

The eligible survivor is the deceased's named beneficiary; if there are no named beneficiaries, the widow(er), children, and parents are eligible.

Funeral grant (formal-sector system): Paid if the deceased was a disability pensioner or had at least one month of contributions in the six months before death. The death must be the result of a nonwork-related injury or illness.

Survivor benefit (informal-sector system): Paid when the insured dies.

Funeral grant (informal-sector system): Paid if the deceased had at least six months of contributions in the 12 months before death.

Old-Age Benefits

Old-age pension

Old-age pension (formal-sector system): 20% of the insured's average monthly wage in the last 60 months before retirement is paid.

The minimum monthly earnings used to calculate benefits are 1,650 baht.

The maximum monthly earnings used to calculate benefits are 15,000 baht.

Old-age pension increment: The old-age pension 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: The old-age pension 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.

Old-age settlement (formal-sector system): A benefit is paid.

Old-age lump sum (informal-sector system): A lump sum plus the balance of any additional contributions is paid.

Permanent Disability Benefits

Disability pension

Disability pension (formal-sector system): 50% of the insured's average daily wage in the highest paid three months of the nine months before the disability began is paid until death.

The minimum monthly earnings used to calculate benefits are 1,650 baht.

The maximum monthly earnings used to calculate 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.

Disability pension (informal-sector system): 500 baht to 1000 baht a month is paid, depending on the number of contributions. The pension is paid for up to 15 years.

Survivor Benefits

Survivor benefit

Survivor benefit (formal-sector system): A lump sum of 10 times the deceased's monthly old-age pension is paid.

The amount is split among eligible survivors, according to the number and category of survivors.

Death benefit (formal-sector system): With 36 months to 10 years of contributions, a lump sum of five times 50% of the deceased's average monthly wage in the highest paid three months of the nine months before the death is paid. With at least 10 years of contributions, a lump sum of 10 times 50% of the deceased's average monthly wage in the highest paid three months of the nine months before the death is paid.

If there is no named beneficiary, the amount is split equally among the eligible survivors.

Funeral grant (formal-sector system): 40,000 baht is paid to the person who paid for the funeral.

Survivor benefit (informal-sector system): A lump sum of the old-age benefit plus the balance of the insured's additional contributions is paid to eligible survivors.

Funeral grant (informal-sector system): 20,000 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, 1998, and 2011; and 1990 (sickness and medical benefits).

Type of program: Social insurance system.

Note: A new voluntary social security system for informal sector workers was initiated in 2011. The scheme is based on contributions from workers and government to finance old-age, disability, survivors, sickness, and maternity benefits.

Coverage

Formal-sector system: Employed persons.

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

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

Informal-sector system: Voluntary coverage for informal-sector workers.

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

Source of Funds

Insured person

Formal-sector system: 1.06% of gross monthly earnings (sickness and maternity benefits); 0.44% (disability and survivor benefits). For the voluntarily insured, see source of funds under Old Age, Disability, and Survivors.

The minimum monthly earnings used to calculate contributions are 1,650 baht.

The maximum monthly earnings used to calculate contributions are 15,000 baht.

Informal-sector system: See source of funds under Old Age, Disability, Survivors.

Self-employed person

Formal-sector system: See source of funds under Old Age, Disability, and Survivors.

Informal-sector system: See source of funds under Old Age, Disability, and Survivors.

Employer

Formal-sector system: 1.06% of monthly payroll (sickness and maternity benefits); 0.44% (disability and survivor benefits).

The minimum monthly earnings used to calculate contributions are 1,650 baht.

The maximum monthly earnings used to calculate contributions are 15,000 baht.

Informal-sector system: See source of funds under Old Age, Disability, and Survivors.

Government

Formal-sector system: 1.06% of gross monthly earnings (sickness and maternity benefits); 0.44% (disability and survivor benefits).

The minimum monthly earnings used to calculate contributions are 1,650 baht.

The maximum monthly used to calculate contributions are 15,000 baht.

Informal-sector system: See source of funds under Old Age, Disability, and Survivors.

Qualifying Conditions

Cash sickness and medical benefits (formal-sector system): Must have at least three months of contributions in the 15 months before the incapacity or treatment began.

The insured must provide medical certification of the incapacity.

Cash sickness benefits (informal-sector system): Must have at least three months of contributions in the four months before the illness or injury began. The insured must be hospitalized for at least two days.

Cash maternity, childbirth grant, and medical benefits (formal-sector system): Must have at least seven months of contributions in the 15 months before the expected date of childbirth.

The childbirth grant is paid to an insured woman, or to the wife of, or a woman who cohabits with, an insured man. Maternity benefits are paid for two childbirths only.

Sickness and Maternity Benefits

Sickness benefit (formal-sector system): 50% of the insured's average daily wage in the highest paid three months of the nine months before the incapacity began is paid. 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 up to 180 days in any calendar year; may be extended up to 365 days for a chronic condition.

The minimum monthly earnings used to calculate benefits are 1,650 baht.

The maximum monthly earnings used to calculate benefits are 15,000 baht.

There is no minimum benefit.

Sickness benefit (informal-sector system): 200 baht a day is paid for up to 20 days a year.

Maternity benefit (formal-sector system): 50% of the insured's average daily wage in the highest paid three months of the nine months before maternity leave is paid for up to 90 days for each childbirth.

The minimum monthly earnings used to calculate benefits are 1,650 baht.

The maximum monthly earnings used to calculate benefits are 15,000 baht.

There is no minimum benefit.

Childbirth grant (formal-sector system): A lump sum of 13,000 baht is paid.

Workers' Medical Benefits

Benefits include medical examination and treatment, hospitalization, medicine, ambulance fees, rehabilitation, and other necessary expenses.

The insured must register with a hospital under contract with the healthcare system to receive benefits from the hospital. Costs for care provided in another hospital are reimbursed according to fixed rates for emergencies and accidents only.

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.

Hospitals under contract to the Social Security Office provide medical benefits.

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, fishery employees; and self-employed persons.

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

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 fifth year of contributions, the company's accident rate is taken into account when assessing the degree of risk.

There are no minimum earnings used to calculate contributions.

The maximum annual earnings used to calculate contributions are 240,000 baht.

Government: None.

Qualifying Conditions

Work injury benefits: There is no minimum qualifying period.

Temporary Disability Benefits

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

There are no minimum earnings used to calculate benefits.

The maximum annual earnings used to calculate benefits 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 minimum daily wage varies by province.

The maximum monthly benefit is 12,000 baht.

Permanent Disability Benefits

Permanent disability benefit: For a total (100%) disability, 60% of the insured's average monthly wage before the disability began is paid for up to 15 years, according to a 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 minimum daily wage varies by province.

The maximum monthly benefit is 12,000 baht.

Permanent partial disability benefit: 60% of the insured's average monthly wage before the disability began is paid from two months to 10 years, according to a schedule in law. In certain cases, the benefit may be paid as a lump sum.

Medical officers assigned by the Social Security Office assess the degree of disability annually.

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

Workers' Medical Benefits

Benefits include all necessary medical, surgical, and hospital services.

Up to 45,000 baht is paid for each incident of work injury or occupational disease; up to 300,000 baht in certain cases, determined by the medical committee of the Office of Workmen's Compensation Fund.

Up to 20,000 baht is paid for rehabilitation services.

Survivor Benefits

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

Eligible survivors include a widow(er), children younger than age 18 (no limit if a student or disabled), and parents. The pension is split equally among all eligible survivors. If there are no eligible survivors, any other dependent persons may qualify.

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 minimum daily wage varies by province.

The maximum monthly benefit is 12,000 baht.

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

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

The minimum daily wage varies by province.

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.

Hospitals under contract with the Social Security Office which meet the standards of the Office of Workmen's Compensation Fund provide medical benefits.

Unemployment

Regulatory Framework

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

Type of program: Social insurance system.

Coverage

Employed persons.

Voluntary coverage is not possible.

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

Source of Funds

Insured person: 0.5% of gross monthly earnings.

The minimum monthly earnings used to calculate contributions are 1,650 baht.

The maximum monthly earnings used to calculate contributions are 15,000 baht.

Self-employed person: Not applicable.

Employer: 0.5% of monthly payroll.

The minimum monthly earnings used to calculate contributions are 1,650 baht.

The maximum monthly earnings used to calculate contributions are 15,000 baht.

Government: 0.25% of gross monthly earnings.

The minimum monthly earnings used to calculate contributions are 1,650 baht.

The maximum monthly earnings used to calculate contributions are 15,000 baht.

Qualifying Conditions

Unemployment benefit: Must have at least six months of contributions in the 15 months before unemployment, be registered with the Government Employment Service Office, and be ready and able to accept any suitable job offer. The insured must report at least 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 seven 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 if the insured no longer meets the qualifying conditions.

Unemployment Benefits

If involuntarily unemployed, 50% of the insured's average daily wage in the highest paid three months in the nine months before unemployment is paid for up to 180 days in any calendar year; if voluntarily unemployed, 30% of the insured's average daily wage is paid for up to 90 days in any calendar year.

The benefit is paid from the eighth 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), under the Ministry of Labor (http://www.mol.go.th), registers the unemployed insured persons for job placement and training through the Government Employment Service Office.

Department of Skill Development (http://www.dsd.go.th), under the Ministry of Labor, trains unemployed insured persons for new jobs.

Family Allowances

Regulatory Framework

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

Type of program: Social insurance system.

Coverage

Employed persons.

Voluntary coverage for self-employed persons and for persons with 12 months of compulsory coverage who cease to be covered.

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

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

Source of Funds

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

Self-employed person: Not applicable.

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

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

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 400 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.