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Thailand: Ageing population should be on national agenda for serious debate

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Dec 2016

The issue of Thailand’s ageing population should be placed on the national agenda so it is dealt with seriously and systematically, urged Mr Veerathai Santiprabhob, Governor of the Bank of Thailand. 
   An older population is a challenge that affects all aspects of the Thai economy including labour, savings and consumption. Most Thais have not considered how to prepare for post-retirement life, he said in an interview with The Bangkok Post.
   Thailand is classified as an “ageing society” by the UN and will become an “aged society” by 2025. The Fiscal Policy Office estimates the percentage of Thais aged 60 and over is expected to increase from 14% of the population currently to 17.5% in 2020 and 25.2% in 2030. 
   The Finance Ministry is keen to reinforce the retirement safety net to prepare the country for the demographic shift and seeks ways to alleviate the fiscal burden in taking care of the elderly. 
   Last year, it set up the National Savings Fund, a voluntary pension fund for 27 million non-formal workers, and allowed provident fund members to make higher contributions than their employers. Moreover, it is seeking to implement reverse mortgages as well as a mandatory provident fund.
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