On July 6, the 21-storey central headquarters of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) was unveiled in the capital’s Sen Sok district. Falling under the remit of the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, the structure carried a construction cost of $43 million.

Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth and Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Samheng led the ceremonial proceedings.

In his speech, Samheng emphasised the significance of the new headquarters in reflecting the government’s policy to enhance social security. He said it aimed to fortify a wider and more sustainable social security system for both formal and informal economy workers, including those benefiting from the NSSF scheme.

“The National Social Protection Policy Framework is divided into two categories – social security scheme and social assistance scheme. These schemes guarantee income security and reduced the economic and financial vulnerabilities of people, aimed at improving social welfare and solidarity as well as alleviating poverty,” he said.

Pornmoniroth praised the NSSF and the labour ministry for their recent strides in improving the quality and efficiency of the services provided to NSSF members.

“These achievements formed a solid foundation for restoring and stimulating economic activity to return to normal rapidly. Despite being hit by Covid-19, the Cambodian economy had dropped by 3.1 per cent in 2020, yet it recovered at a rate of three per cent in 2021. In 2022, we saw a growth of 5.3 per cent. This year will see a growth of 5.6 per cent,” he noted.

Pornmoniroth urged the NSSF to enhance their service provision by digitalising its operational systems. He suggested it should persistently reinforce institutional transparency and accountability through standard financial reporting and collaborate with the Ministry of Health to monitor service quality.

“I believe that this new NSSF building will contribute to increasing the efficiency of providing services to its members and should be attentively maintained for long-term use,” he advised.

Ath Thorn, president of the Cambodian Labour Confederation (CLC), said the social security scheme has significantly grown. He highlighted that while Cambodia has implemented many social security schemes, one remains yet to be introduced, namely unemployment insurance.

“In general, there are four social security schemes and until now three of the four have been implemented. The fourth scheme is called unemployment insurance that was yet to be applied,” he said.

“Until now, 2.6 million members have accessed NSSF benefits. However, there is still a considerable disparity as the number of formal economy workers and employees is nearly four million, and those in the informal economy are estimated to be nearly four million”.

The schemes were reinstated under the Law on Social Security for those who qualify under the labour law passed in 2002. This then led to the establishment of the NSSF as a public administrative institution in 2007 and the launching of the social security scheme in November 2008 for occupational risks and in 2016 for healthcare.