The fact that enterprises are slow to pay and avoid paying social insurance premiums in Vietnam is still very common in society, seriously affecting the interests of employees, especially on social security issues. In many cases, employees are not allowed to receive pensions or settle other regimes such as unemployment insurance, sickness benefit allowance, etc. Recognizing this problem, Vietnam Social Insurance has recently submitted many proposals to solve the problem of pensions for employees whose insurance premiums are owed by businesses.
According to information from Vietnam Social Insurance, by the end of 2022, the debt of social insurance in enterprises that go bankrupt, dissolved, cease to operate, business owners flee, evade responsibility to employees is more than 4,000 billion VND, affecting the interests of nearly 213,400 Vietnamese employees, equivalent to 213,400 households.
Not only employees’ lives are affected, but the bottleneck in this social insurance regime also affects other subjects such as relatives and families of employees. In terms of pensions, children and grandchildren will have to pay a larger amount to support their parents and grandparents in life because they are not eligible for pensions.
If they cannot meet the minimum living conditions, retired employees will have to depend on the social support fund, but only at a very low level and not everyone is eligible to receive it, causing a great impact to the stable functioning of society.
In early February, the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor asked the Government to soon report to the Politburo and submit to the National Assembly a plan to settle benefits for the number of employees affected by business activities.
Proposal to resolve pensions problem for Vietnamese employees who are owed social insurance contributions by enterprises
The debt of enterprises to pay social insurance leads to many consequences as analyzed above. In particular, due to no longer paying insurance, employees will not receive benefits corresponding to their actual working time.
Although it is the responsibility of the management agency in charge of managing and ensuring that enterprises pay social insurance payments in full and on time, but now, the party that suffers is the Vietnamese employees.
Accordingly, Social Insurance proposes that employees at enterprises that owe or evade social insurance contributions will still be able to enjoy pensions for enterprises that are bankrupt, undergoing bankruptcy procedures, or shutting down their operations, or no longer capable of being a legal representative.
In which, there are two main methods, which are settlement by employees or by competent agencies and enterprises.
Employees can solve the problem themselves by paying voluntary social insurance premiums for 10 years of social insurance premiums or more, for cases that they have reached retirement age but not having enough years of insurance premium payment to receive the pension.
If the owed social insurance amount is then compensated by the enterprise or supplemented by other financial sources, the social insurance agency will add the debt amount by contribution period to recalculate the benefit rate for the employee.
However, the amount of money that employees have paid voluntary social insurance premiums is not refunded and accordingly, this proposal will certainly not be accepted and applied by many employees because when paying voluntary contributions, employees will also have to pay a sum including the employer’s share at a very high rate.
The second solution is that the employees wait for the competent authorities to collect the debts paid by the business or supplement by other financial sources from third parties to settle the pension regime. However, this method is not deterministic and in practice, there are no or few cases of pension settlement under this method.