Social Security Programs Throughout the World: Asia and the Pacific, 2004

 

Thailand

Exchange rate: US$1.00 equals 40.56 baht.

Old Age, Disability, and Survivors

Regulatory Framework

First and current law: 1990 (social security), implemented in 1991 and 1998, with 1994 and 1999 amendments.

Type of program: Social insurance system.

Coverage

Employees aged 15 to 60.

Voluntary coverage for the self-employed and persons who cease covered employment after having been covered for at least 12 months.

Exclusions: Judges; employees of foreign governments or international organizations; employees of state enterprises; agricultural, forestry, and fishery employees; temporary and seasonal workers; and Thais 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 wages. (Voluntary contributors pay contributions on the first 4,800 baht of earnings. Voluntary contributions cover old-age, disability, and survivor benefits; sickness and maternity benefits; and family benefits.)

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

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

Self-employed person: A voluntary flat-rate annual contribution of 3,360 baht. (The contribution finances disability, survivor, and maternity benefits.)

Employer: 3% of monthly payroll.

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

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

Government: 1% of monthly wages.

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

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

Unless otherwise indicated, all of the above contributions finance old-age benefits and family benefits only.

For contributions for disability and survivor benefits, see Sickness and Maternity, below.

Qualifying Conditions

Old-age pension: Age 55 with 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 but less than 180 months of contributions. Employment must cease.

Disability pension: Three months of contributions in the 15 months before the onset of total disability. The insured must be unable to work as the result of a physical or mental disability. The benefit is payable after the exhaustion of entitlement to cash sickness benefits.

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 benefit is payable if a pensioner dies within 60 months after entitlement 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 survivor.

Death benefit and funeral grant: The benefit and grant are payable if the deceased had 1 month of contributions in the 6 months before death or was a disability pensioner. The death must be the result of a nonoccupational injury or illness.

The death benefit is payable to the deceased's named beneficiary; in the absence of a named beneficiary, the benefit is shared equally among the surviving spouse, children, and parents.

The funeral grant is payable to the person who pays for the funeral.

Old-Age Benefits

Old-age pension: 15% of the insured's average monthly wage in the last 60 months before retirement.

Old-age pension increment: At the pensionable age, if the insured has paid contributions for more than 180 months, the benefit is increased by 1% of the insured's average monthly wage in the last 60 months for each 12-month period of contributions over 180 months.

There is no minimum pension.

Deferred pension: When the pension is first received, if the insured has paid contributions for over 180 months, the benefit is increased by 1% of the insured's average monthly wage in the last 60 months for each 12-month period of contributions over 180 months.

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

Old-age settlement: A lump sum equal to the insured's contributions is paid if the insured has less than 12 months of contributions. If the insured has more than 12 months but less than 180 months of contributions, the lump sum is equal to the employer's and the insured's contributions plus interest. The interest rate is defined by the Social Security Office.

Permanent Disability Benefits

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

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 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 equal to 50% of the insured's average monthly wage in the best 3 months during the 9 months before death multiplied by 3. If the deceased paid contributions for 10 years or more, a lump sum equal to 50% of the insured's average monthly wage in the best 3 months during the 9 months before death multiplied by 10.

Funeral grant: 30,000 baht.

Administrative Organization

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

Social Security Office collects contributions and pays benefits.

Sickness and Maternity

Regulatory Framework

First and current law: 1990 (social security), implemented in 1991, with 1994 and 1999 amendments.

Type of program: Social insurance system.

Coverage

Employees aged 15 to 60.

Voluntary coverage for the self-employed and persons who cease covered employment after having been covered for at least 12 months.

Exclusions: Judges; employees of foreign governments or international organizations; employees of state enterprises; agricultural, forestry, and fishery employees; temporary and seasonal workers; and Thais 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 wage (0.44% of the 1.5% contribution 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 and benefit purposes are 1,650 baht.

The maximum monthly earnings for contribution and benefit 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 (0.44% of the 1.5% contribution finances disability and survivor benefits).

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

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

Government: 1.5% of monthly wages (0.44% of the 1.5% contribution finances disability and survivor benefits).

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

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

Qualifying Conditions

Cash sickness and medical benefits: Three 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: Seven months of contributions in the 15 months before the expected date of childbirth.

Cash maternity benefits are payable to an insured woman. The childbirth grant is payable 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: 50% of the insured's average daily wage in the best 3 months during the 9 months before sickness. The benefit is payable from the first day of certified absence from work (after the end of entitlement to statutory sick pay of usually 30 days under the labor law) but not longer than 90 days for each illness and for not more than a total of 180 days in any calendar year; may be extended up to 365 days for a chronic condition.

There is no minimum benefit.

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

There is no minimum benefit.

Childbirth grant: A lump sum of 6,000 baht.

Workers' Medical Benefits

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

The insured must register with a contracted hospital, 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, and costs are reimbursed according to fixed rates in this case.

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 collects contributions and pays cash benefits.

Medical benefits are delivered by hospitals contracted by 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; employees of state enterprises; employees of private schools; and government 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 payroll, according to the accident rate.

The contribution is made annually. Beginning with the fifth year of contributions, the company's accident rate is considered when assessing the degree of risk.

There are no minimum earnings for contribution and benefit purposes.

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

Government: None.

Qualifying Conditions

Work injury benefits: There is no minimum qualifying period. The degree of disability is assessed annually by medical officers assigned by the Social Security Office.

Temporary Disability Benefits

60% of the insured's monthly wage before the onset of disability. The benefit is payable 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. Temporary disability benefits are paid according to the schedule in law. The insured must be unable to work.

The minimum monthly benefit is 2,000 baht.

The maximum monthly benefit is 9,000 baht.

Permanent Disability Benefits

60% of the insured's monthly wage before the onset of disability is payable for a maximum of 15 years if the insured is assessed as totally disabled. Permanent disability benefits are paid according to the schedule in law.

The minimum monthly benefit is 2,000 baht.

The maximum monthly benefit is 9,000 baht.

Permanent partial disability benefit: 60% of the insured's monthly wage before the onset of disability. The benefit is payable for a minimum of 3 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 minimum monthly benefit is 2,000 baht.

The maximum monthly benefit is 9,000 baht.

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 50,000 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 a maximum cost of 20,000 baht.

Survivor Benefits

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

The minimum monthly benefit is 2,000 baht.

The maximum monthly benefit is 9,000 baht.

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

Eligible survivors include the spouse, children under age 18 (no limit if a student or disabled), and parents. Each survivor receives an equal amount. In the absence of eligible survivors, any other dependent persons may be entitled.

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

Administrative Organization

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

Social Security Office administers the program through the Office of Workmen's Compensation Fund, which collects contributions and pays cash benefits.

Medical benefits are provided by contracted hospitals 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 Thais working abroad.

Source of Funds

Insured person: 0.5% of monthly gross wages.

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

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

Self-employed person: Not applicable.

Employer: 0.5% of monthly payroll.

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

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

Government: 0.25% of monthly wages.

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

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

Qualifying Conditions

Unemployment benefit: Six months of contributions in the 15 months before unemployment.

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 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 50% of the insured's average daily wage in the best 3 months during the 9 months before unemployment for up to 180 days during 1 year; if voluntarily unemployed, the benefit is 30% of the insured's average daily wage for up to 90 days during 1 year.

The benefit is payable 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 collects contributions and pays benefits.

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

Family Allowances

Regulatory Framework

First and current law: 1990 (social security) implemented in 1998, with 1994 and 1999 amendments.

Type of program: Social insurance system.

Coverage

Employees aged 15 to 60.

Voluntary coverage for persons who cease covered employment after having been covered for at least 12 months.

Exclusions: Judges; employees of foreign governments or international organizations; employees of state enterprises; agricultural, forestry, and fishery employees; temporary and seasonal workers; and Thais 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: Twelve months of contributions in the 36 months before the month of entitlement.

The benefit is payable 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 7.

Family Allowance Benefits

Child allowance: A monthly allowance of 200 baht for each child.

Administrative Organization

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

Social Security Office collects contributions and pays benefits.