Social Protection for Older People in Vietnam: Role, Challenges and Reform Options
This paper argues that the Vietnamese population has been ageing more rapidly than expected, and policies to deal with this demographic challenge, particularly delivery of social protection services for the aged, should be formulated without delay. With a focus on retirement and social allowance benefits – the two most important social protection schemes for older people – this paper shows that these benefits can reduce poverty for various groups of older people. Yet, there remain a number of challenges that will substantially influence the current system in terms of accessibility and financing. For the retirement scheme, the paper argues that the current setting will not be financially stable, and as such it should be transformed toward a system of individual accounts with a notional defined-contribution (NDC) scheme in the transitional period. For the cash transfer programme, the results from micro-simulation calculations indicate that a universal cash transfer programme for rural older people would be most influential in terms of poverty reduction.