Date: 23 Nov 2023
EPF Hosts 40th Asean Social Security Association (ASSA) Seminar And Board Meeting

KWASA DAMANSARA, 20 November 2023: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) today opens the 40th ASEAN Social Security Association (ASSA) Seminar and Board Meeting and ASSA’s 25th Anniversary in an effort to enhance the performance of global social security institutions amid the changing global socio-economic landscape.


The three-day event, co-organised with Malaysia’s Social Security Organisation (SOCSO) and Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP), was officiated by Yang Berhormat Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan, Deputy Minister of Finance I, attended by EPF Chairman Tan Sri Ahmad Badri Mohd Zahir, EPF Chief Executive Officer Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan, ASSA Chairman and Director-General of Lao Social Security Organisation (LSSO) Keo Chanthavixay, International Social Security Association (ISSA) President and Group CEO of SOCSO Dato’ Sri Dr. Mohammed Azman Dato’ Aziz Mohammed, KWAP CEO Datuk Hajah Nik Amlizan Mohamed, and participants from 10 ASEAN countries in addition to local and other international participants.


In his welcoming address, Tan Sri Ahmad Badri said, “The ASEAN region has faced significant challenges over the past quarter-century, from natural disasters to a global pandemic of unprecedented scale. These events have reshaped the labour market and the social security landscape, demanding agile and forward-thinking solution.


“The interconnectedness between ASEAN countries allows individuals to seek employment opportunities in countries outside their own, hence a seamless transfer of social security benefits is crucial. By harmonising policies and establishing effective mechanisms for cross-border portability, we can contribute to a more comprehensive and supportive regional social security framework,” he said.


He added that ASEAN countries face a critical issue concerning the vulnerability of informal workers across the region. Some 244 million workers in the ASEAN region derive their income from informal employment, constituting nearly 79% of the region’s employed population. This percentage surpasses the global average of 61% and the Asia Pacific average of 68%.


Key highlight of the event is the signing of Memorandum of Understanding between ISSA and ASSA to strengthen collaboration and exchange innovative solutions in the pursuit of advancing social security in the region, and the handover of ASSA Chairmanship to Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah, currently ASSA’s Vice Chairman, from Keo Chanthavixay, who was the Chairwoman of ASSA for the period of 2022/2023. The handover will take place on the second day of the event during the 40th ASSA Board Meeting.


Established in February 1998, ASSA’s primary objective is to enhance social security in the ASEAN region by fostering the exchange of information, expertise, and best practices among its member countries. The membership of the association now comprises 20 social security institutions from 10 ASEAN countries. ASSA plays a critical role in supporting members and policymakers in addressing challenges, enhancing social security systems, and fostering cooperation through platforms such as research, knowledge generation and transfer.  Additionally, it actively promotes social security at the Southeast Asian region level.


The ASSA Board comprises members from Malaysia, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The three-day event sees experts from ASEAN, Europe and Australia specialising in social security and pension reform discuss and exchange ideas with ASSA members on the processes, capabilities and systems that drive excellence in the delivery of social services.


Issued by the EPF Media Desk 
Corporate Affairs Department
20 November 202

About the Employees Provident Fund (EPF)

The Employees Provident Fund® (“EPF®”) is one of the oldest retirement funds in the world. Established in 1951, the EPF® is a social-security organisation focused on safeguarding member savings and delivering excellent services. In recent years, in line with its vision of helping members achieve a better future, the EPF® has expanded its role to encompass the creation of a comprehensive social well-being ecosystem. Today, the EPF® remains steadfast in its commitment to members through consistent efforts to update and improve itself, in order to build the foundation for sustainable, holistic and equitable well-being for all Malaysians.