Today is the day Thai government workers who are 60 years old must retire. It is called ga-si-en ayut rat-cha-gaan. Government workers pay a tax, like Social Security, so they receive an income when they retire, medical also continues. Some local cities supplement the government retirement, mine does. About 10% of our city budget goes to retirement. The amount retirees receive is a complicated formula based on years worked and salary received. Also, workers can pay extra into the fund. We have 6 people retiring today. The top officials are visiting their offices to thank them for their service. Their offices will have parties for them.
Private sector workers do not get SS or retirement unless they work for a very progressive company, rare. Most Thais are farmers or work in a cash economy – they are vendors at outdoor markets or own a restaurant or work for a small company that pays cash. As they age, most depend on their family for income and housing. As Thai society becomes more western and less village centered, this system is less and less effective.