The Situation of the Elderly in Indonesia and Access to Social Protection Programs: Secondary Data Analysis

The Indonesian Government continues to improve its social protection system to ensure the welfare of all citizens in accordance with the mandate of the constitution. Among the population groups that require special attention in the social protection system is the elderly. Based on the 2019 National Socioeconomic Survey (Susenas), there are more than 25.7 million people, or 9.6 percent of the total population aged 60 years and over in Indonesia.

According to Statistics Indonesia, the number of elderly people in Indonesia is expected to increase by around 10 percent by 2020 and around 20 percent by 2024. It is estimated that by 2050 the elderly population will reach 74 million or around 25 percent of the total population (UN 2017). This group is vulnerable to poverty and is not enjoying a decent level of welfare.

As a person ages, they generally become less productive and experience a decline in, or even a loss of income. This situation creates vulnerability to various risks and shocks, particularly of a socioeconomic nature. In such conditions, it is very important to have adequate social protection programs, particularly for the elderly at risk due to poverty.

The central and local governments already have a range of social protection programs for the elderly. At the national level, the government has included the elderly as beneficiaries of the Family Hope Program (Program Keluarga Harapan: PKH) since 2016. In 2019, the number of elderly PKH beneficiaries reached 1.1 million with assistance of around Rp 2.4 million per person per year (Ministry of Social Affairs 2019).

In the regions, there are several local governments with programs targeting the elderly. Examples include the district of Aceh Jaya which provides social assistance for the elderly through the ASLURETI Program (Assistance for High Risk Elderly) for seniors 70 years of age and over at Rp 200,000 per month per person, and the province of DKI Jakarta through the Jakarta Elderly Card Program (Kartu Elderly Jakarta: KLJ) which provides social assistance of Rp 600,000 per person per month for poor and neglected elderly citizens aged 60 years and over.

Despite these programs, the number of elderly beneficiaries remains low. Only two percent of the total elderly population in Indonesia benefit from non-contributory social protection or social assistance schemes. Meanwhile, only around 12 percent of the elderly have access to contributory social protection schemes or social security for the workforce, including pension funds for civil servants. With only a limited number of elderly having social protection, it is very important to conduct research to understand the situation of the elderly, the existence of social protection programs for the elderly, and their access to such programs.

The Situation of the Elderly in Indonesia and Access to Social Protection Programs: Secondary Data Analysis research report provides a situational analysis of the elderly nationally and in three provinces, namely DKI Jakarta, DI Yogyakarta, and Bali. We hope that this report can serve as a reference in improving and developing a comprehensive Indonesian social protection system in the future, especially for the elderly.

This study was originally planned to be complemented with field research in three provinces, namely DKI Jakarta (representing regions that implement elderly assistance programs from the provincial government budget), DI Yogyakarta (representing regions with a proportion of elderly population above the national average in Java and high poverty rates), and Bali (representing regions with a high proportion of elderly people outside Java). Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, however, field research has been temporarily postponed and the research team agreed to divide this study into two phases. The Phase 1 study produced a “Preliminary Report”, “Secondary Data Analysis Report”, and a “Research Design” complemented by a questionnaire and a qualitative questionnaire. Phase 2 will continue with the implementation of field research in the three provinces concerned when the situation and conditions allow.

Jakarta, 24 October 2020