Cambodia’s National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has confirmed that all foreign workers must participate in the new co-payment pension fund scheme adding that the government was discussing the possibility of allowing lump sum withdrawals if leaving Cambodia forever.
The comments were made during a panel discussion organized by the newly formed Singapore Investment and Business Forum (SIBF) on the scheme that was implemented on October 1, 2022 with employees eligible to receive its benefits after the age of 60 and if residing in Cambodia.
NSSF Director General Sok Bora explained that the new policy will apply equally to both local and all foreign workers adding will be required to pay the Based on Sub-Decree 32, once registered, an enterprise must pay a monthly contribution for the compulsory pension scheme.
“For the first five years, the scheme will require a total of 4% of an employee’s contributable wage [capped currently at $300] with 2% to be paid by the employee and 2% to be paid by the employer, [currently capped at $12 per month per employee]. The contribution rate will be increased to 8% after 5 years,” Bora said.
“After a 90-day campaign promoting the pension scheme for workers when they retire has successfully reached out to almost 2 million employees,” he added.
Foreign workers’ right to withdraw funds
Secretary General of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia Ken Loo commented the scheme had had extensive consultation with the private sector however added the allowance for foreign workers to withdraw their money when deciding to leave Cambodia was not yet confirmed.
“The government has been discussing the possibility of allowing foreign workers to withdraw their deposited funds as a lump sum if they agreed to sign away their rights to return to work in Cambodia,” Loo said.
“While this is common practice in regional neighbors such as Singapore the scheme is yet to have collected any funds so we expect any such allowance will take some time to implement,” he added.
In addition, according to the NSSF foreign employees under the scheme that die before the age of 60 can have their next–of–kin eligible to receive the payout.
If a foreign employee makes the required contributions until retirement age, when they retire, they will receive monthly payments of around 400,000 riels ($100) according to calculations provided by the NSSF.
Maintaining an up-to-date database
All foreign workers who are registered with the NSSF are done so via their current passport number as well as biometric fingerprint according to Sok Bora foreign employees must update their new passport number to ensure they remain relevant in the system.
“To ensure foreign workers can remain registered each time a new passport is issued throughout their lifetime – typically every 10 years – they must attend an NSSF office and using their biometric fingerprints register with their new passport number,” Bora said.
To verify you are properly registered under the NSSF foreign workers can download the NSSF application on their smartphones to ensure their employers are properly contributing to the scheme every month.
According to the Ministry of Labor employers who do not register their business or whose employees do not pay contributions to the social security system or fail to report the number of workers shall be punished as defined in Article 98 of the Law on Social Security.