Voluntary pension insurance should be implemented as soon as possible because the delay would make life of retirees more difficult, a labour ministry official has said.

Speaking at a recent conference on voluntary pension insurance, Truong Giang, Deputy Director of the Social Insurance Department under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said Vietnam was now in the period of a golden population structure as the working age accounted for more than 58 percent.

The country has managed to set up 48 fund management companies and nine banks in charge of supervising the implementation of the insurance.

"This is the best time to implement the model, and as quickly as possible to assure lives of workers after retirement," he said.

Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Vu Tien Loc said this type of insurance would be a solution to reduce the burden of social funds, increase social security and long-term benefits for businesses and workers.

It would create conditions for people to participate and get a stable source of income after retirement. It would also contribute to the stability of the current pension fund, he said.

In the 2007 to 2012 period, after six adjustments, the average pension had increased by 26.8 percent annually. Meanwhile, the growth rate of the social security fund only increased 10.1 percent annually.

This caused pressure on the current social insurance fund and the State budget. It was forecast to increase rapidly in the future.

In fact, there were a number of businesses implementing the model of insurance for their employees, he said. However, due to a shortage of adequate legal framework, these businesses had applied them in different ways.

He said, authorised agencies should work together to complete the legal framework and disseminate them to increase the awareness of businesses and employees about the benefits of the insurance.

According to Loc, the regulation saying that each enterprise was allowed to pay 1 million VND (47 USD) for each worker was reasonable as most were small-and-medium sized enterprises. This would assure benefits to labourers in these enterprises.

Pension insurance is a voluntary form of savings to fund retirement, usually supported by employers and encouraged by the government through tax benefits.-VNA