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18.2

13.1

72.1

65.8

9.7

21.1

0%

50%

100%

Thailand

Germany

Age 0-14 years

Age 15-64 years

Age 65 and above

Age discrimination

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 Department

2

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 economists

3 ,

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 elderly

4 .

To underline the above mentioned social

and financial aspects of an aging society, the

2 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,

2016)