Nu 2 bn Social protection program for senior citizens in 13th FYP

Prime Minister (PM) Dasho Tshering Tobgay said the old-age pension program needs to be strengthened for two primary reasons, both of which require extensive analysis and improvement.

PM laid concerns on possible future crisis if there isn’t enough money leftover even after members make their monthly payments.

Secondly, the opportunity to participate in an old-age pension scheme is not only for the civil servants, but for all the citizens of Bhutan be it the private sector or farmers since it will help everyone as they age. 

According to the PM, support will be extended to make the services offered to senior citizens better. For instance, elderly patients will get to see medical professionals in the hospital and receive a thorough examination, whether they are ill or not.

A nationwide program called Social Protection will be implemented as part of the 13th Five-Year Plan with the aim of enabling senior individuals to lead comfortable lives beyond the age of sixty. Currently, a budget of Nu 2 billion has been set aside for the initiative.

The Social Protection program will focus on the extended support or services that have to be provided for senior citizens. An in depth look at the services is required so the services, such as the old-age pension, are engaging for the current senior citizens, and to make it appealing for the future senior citizens, and even the youth.

The concern is that many civil servants and workers are opting out of the pension before reaching the 20-year mark because they do not have the intention to participate in old-age pension that actually offers future safety.

The PM said to start with, a detailed examination of the benefits the old-age pension system offers to both participants and elderly residents is necessary in order to overcome these challenges.

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