SHAH ALAM: Transforming the Social Security Organisation (Socso) into a pension-like scheme could provide a better safety net for private sector employees aged above 60, says Datuk Seri M. Saravanan.
"I have proposed to Socso to study the feasibility of converting the Socso contributions of private sector employees who have turned 60 years and above into a pension-like scheme," said the Human Resources Minister at a 700-strong gathering of trade unionists at the Shah Alam Convention Centre here on Tuesday (Sept 20).
"I am doing a very in-depth study for the government, he said.
He said that private sector employees contribute to Socso throughout their working life and it is only after they are 60 years old that they come down with diseases and their savings have been depleted after paying off debts as well as for their children's needs.
He said that the nation was also burdened with caring for seniors aged above 60 who have no financial safety net of any kind.
He added that there was a need to relook at the Socso contribution percentage as there had been no increase since 1971.
Saravanan called on the worker unions to champion concerns that despite the rising number of aged workers in the private sector, Socso only covers temporary and permanent disablement, medical, dependant and funeral benefits up to the age of 60.
"The nation will soon have a big population of workers who are either continuing to work or retired in their senior years, especially those above the age of 60, by the year 2030.
"We realise that while the civil servants have a pension scheme, those in the private sector do not have such benefits after the age of 60. Once they retire, they do not have income, benefits of any kind and no savings as they have withdrawn their Employee Provident Fund savings after they turn 55.
"It takes six months or so to prepare a paper on this... this is still very much in the planning stage," he said,
Saravanan added that if he was unable to see this become reality during his term, he hoped this would be an issue the Human Resource Ministry will take up.