A network of informal labour groups is demanding that the government table the national pension fund bill in parliament immediately.
The network says the passage of the bill has been put off for too long.
The national pension fund bill drafted by the Finance Ministry was approved in principle by the cabinet at the end of last year. It was sent to the Council of State for scrutiny before being tabled in parliament.
The network, formed yesterday under the name Pension Fund Network for Civic Groups and consisting of groups of taxi drivers, motorcycle taxi drivers, street vendors, the Friends of Women Foundation, garbage collectors, farmers and community labourers, read out a statement asking the government to table the draft bill on a national pension as quickly as possible.
The provisions of the bill require members to pay 100 to 1,000 baht a month to the national pension fund.
The government will contribute 50 baht a month to members aged 20-30 years, 80 baht to those aged 30-50, and 100 baht to those aged 50-60.
"We have to ask the government whether it will table the national pension fund bill in parliament soon," said Suchin Rungsawang, head of the network.
"It is a good idea to have a national pension fund for informal workers, an estimated 24 million people, who live outside the state pension and social security schemes so they are able to live stable lives with dignity, and cause fewer burdens for their children."
Worawet Suwanrada, a lecturer at Chulalongkorn University's economics faculty, said the national pension bill should be extended to cover workers under the Social Security Fund to bridge the gap when they suddenly find themselves out of work.
A survey by the National Statistical Office in April found 82% of all citizens wanted the pension scheme and only 2% disagreed with it because of a lack of trust in the government.
Writer: Lamphai Intathep