As Vietnam’s economy grow, the demand for foreign employees to work in the country has also risen. However, foreign employees who wish to withdraw their lump-sum social insurance in Vietnam may encounter several problems.

Vietnam’s legal regulations on social insurance benefits for foreign employees

According to Vietnamese laws, including the Law on Social Insurance 2014, Decree 143/2018/ND-CP, and the Law on Health Insurance 2008 (amended 2014), foreign employees working in Vietnam are required to participate in both compulsory social insurance plans, covering retirement and survivorship, sickness and maternity, as well as health insurance.

As per Clause 2, Article 17 of Decree 143/2018/ND-CP, foreign employees must participate in the retirement and survivorship insurance starting from January 1, 2022. Accordingly, from that time on, foreign employees are eligible to avail of the benefits of the lump-sum social insurance plan defined in Clause 6, Article 9 of Decree 143/2018/ND-CP mentioned below:

“Article 9. Retirement regime

…6. Cases of lump-sum social insurance benefits

Employees specified in Clause 1, Article 2 of this Decree, upon request, are entitled to lump-sum social insurance benefits if they fall into one of the following cases:

a) Having reached the retirement age as prescribed in Clause 1 of this Article but have not yet paid the full 20 years of social insurance premium payment;

b) The person is suffering from one of a life-threatening disease such as cancer, polio, cirrhosis of the liver ascites, leprosy, severe tuberculosis, HIV infection that has progressed to AIDS, and other diseases as prescribed by the Ministry of Health;

c) The employee is eligible for pension as prescribed in Clause 1 of this Article but does not continue to reside in Vietnam;

d) The employee terminates the labor contract or the work permit, practice certificate or practice permit expires without being renewed.”

Procedures and benefits when foreign workers beneficiaries

About procedures and implementation time:

To apply for the benefits for foreigners, a complete dossier should typically contain the following documents:

  • A written request from the employee to receive lump-sum social insurance benefits
  • Their social insurance book

Once the complete set of documents are received, the social insurance agency must process and arrange payment for foreign employees within five business days as stipulated. It’s mandatory for the agency to respond in writing and give a clear explanation if they are unable to settle the case.

If a foreign worker resigns their job without availing the lump-sum social insurance benefit, the premium paid for this purpose earlier will be safeguarded.

If the employee suffering from life-threatening diseases such as cancer, polio, cirrhosis of the liver, ascites, leprosy, severe tuberculosis, or HIV infection that has turned into AIDS, they required to provide a copy/summary of their medical record, as it is currently in a non-self-service status.

When submitting a dossier for one-time social insurance benefits, foreign workers must note that they need to present their passports translated into Vietnamese and authenticated in accordance with Vietnamese law.

About benefits:

Clause 2, Article 60 of the Law on Social Insurance mandates that the calculation of the rate of benefit is based on the number of years the employee has contributed to social insurance. The calculation is as follows:

b) The calculation includes two months of the average monthly salary for the years of payment starting from 2014, on which the social insurance premiums have been paid.

c) in the event the number of years of payment is less than one year, the allowance granted will be equal to the payment amount made. The highest possible rate is two months of the average monthly salary on which premiums are based.

Based on Article 9, Clause 7 of Decree No. 143/2018/ND-CP, foreign workers are eligible for the lump-sum social insurance payment at the rate specified in Point b, Clause 2 of Article 60 of the Law on Social Insurance. Foreign workers have the entitlement to receive two months of the average monthly salary that the social insurance premiums were based on, for each year they have made social insurance contributions.

Can a foreign employee authorize another person to receive lump-sum social insurance instead?

In case the employee cannot directly submit the dossier and receive the lump-sum social insurance payment, he or she may authorize another person to receive it in accordance with the law on authorization. The social insurance agency only pays the authorized person according to the authorization content (cash receipt or via personal account), not transfer money to the company’s account.

Challenges for foreign employees when withdraw their lump-sum social insurance

The first issue that foreign employees face is the language barrier. Most Vietnamese government offices deal with documents and procedures in their native language. Foreign employees who are not proficient in Vietnamese may find it difficult to understand the process of withdrawing. In addition, the documents required for the process may also be in Vietnamese, complicating the process further for foreigners.

The second issue is related to the complexity of the process itself. The process of withdrawing in Vietnam is multi-steps and requires the submission of various documents. These documents include a labor contract, a resignation letter, a work permit, and a social insurance booklet. Additionally, the employee also needs to obtain a Certificate of Social Insurance Contribution from their employer. They must then submit this certificate to the office along with the other required documents.

The third issue is since the compulsory policy came into effect on January 1, 2022, the majority of foreign workers have not been able to complete 12 months of social insurance premium payments yet. This creates a challenge for the agency since there aren’t any specific regulations to determine the level of lump-sum social insurance benefits. As a result, it is difficult for them to administer the regime for foreign employees currently employed in Vietnam.


In conclusion, foreign employees who wish to withdraw their lump-sum social insurance in Vietnam may face several challenges. These issues include language barriers, the complexity of the process, eligibility criteria, and difficulty in receiving the payment. We recommend that foreign employees seek guidance from their employers or consult a professional service to ensure a smooth process of withdrawing their benefits.

In the current scenario, Vietnam has granted foreign workers the right to a lump-sum social insurance policy. However, the absence of clear guidelines for determining the level of benefits for employees who have contributed less than 12 months has exposed a gap in Vietnamese legislation. It is essential that the Vietnamese government provides comprehensive instructions to safeguard the lawful rights and interests of foreign employees while continuing to maintain a fair and appealing work atmosphere in Vietnam.

HMLF is always available to offer assistance in understanding the procedures with authorities.

HMLF legal services

Harley Miller Law Firm “HMLF”
Head office: 14th floor, HM Town building, 412 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Ward 05, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City.
Phone number: +84 937215585
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