Age 0-14 years
Age 15-64 years
Age 65 and above
Age discrimination is another problem. Not everybody likes to retire. Well-educated or
very experienced persons, who are highly motivated to continue working in their professions,
are forced to retire. Elderly people are discriminated against by refusing them loans or credit
cards. Attempts might be underway to withdraw driving licenses from the elderly,
immobilizing them drastically.
Thailand aiming for an ‘aging friendly’ society
As a consequence of the fact that Thailand is becoming an aging society, the Second
National Plan of Thailand for Older Persons (2002 – 2021) was initiated aiming for an ‘aging-
friendly’ society. The governmental Public Relations Department2
hurried to present an
optimistic outlook with an assurance that “(the government) is preparing to cope with the
situation by empowering senior citizens so that the community will fully benefit from their
wisdom and experience”. This was followed by the statement that “senior citizens…are
recognized as valuable resources”, and the reader was reminded that “many senior citizens
can still work actively and contribute greatly to society. They have more experience and may
contribute the wealth and knowledge and experience from which younger persons can learn
and benefit”. The very important part of this announcement was ‘a new income support
policy’ starting from October 2011. This was that the former monthly flat rate for the elderly
of 500 baht was increased for those aged 60 to 69 years to 600 baht; those above that age
would get 800 baht and those aged 90 years and older would get 1,000 baht.
The perspectives of economists3 ,
in contrast to what the government announced, are
not so optimistic. It is argued that the national depth must increase while financing increasing
health care costs. At the same time, productivity will decrease because of a shortage of labour
- birth rates went down many decades ago, and the unemployment rate is already very low.
Another unfortunate aspect is that in general Thais do not save sufficiently for
retirement. Pension schemes will burden governmental spending, and in the end the younger
and working age population will have to face a heavy increase in taxes.
To counteract these developments, an increase in the retirement age is recommended.
The positive aspects are that a substantial
proportion of Thais is already working above the
age of 65, and in contrast to other neighboring
countries, Thailand has already reformed its
health system and started an at least modest
support system for the elderly4 .
To underline the above mentioned social
and financial aspects of an aging society, the2 http://thailand.prd.go.th/ewt_news.php?nid=1268&filename=index
(accessed May 17, 2016)3 https://www.scbeic.com/en/detail/product/1192 (
accessed May 17, 2016)4 http://blogs.worldbank.org/eastasiapacific/aging-in-thailand-how-to-live-long-and-prosper (
accessed May 17,