Aging China wants fairer social insurance

Updated: 2013-12-02 13:46


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Aging China wants fairer social insurance

A retired man fishes by a river in Tianjin, Nov 4, 2010.[Photo/Asianewsphoto] 

Since 2011, pilot trials in northern China's Liaoning, Heilongjiang and 11 other provinces have been set up to ensure the personal pension account is untapped. However, little progress has been made due to fiscal problems.

Debate over changing the retirement age, complaints over differentiated insurance policies for government and non-government employees and doubts about the amount in the pension pot have all influenced people to stop paying social insurance halfway through.

A post on a forum on claiming a personal monthly deposit of 500 yuan in a bank would pay better than paying social insurance went viral in early November. It caused public anxiety.

"After thirty years of monthly deposits of 500 yuan, one would receive about 3,400 yuan per month with interest. Why is it necessary to bother the country for our pension?" netizen Wangbufuzhao said in the post.

However, the picture is not that rosy, said Ye Tan, a commentator on economics, citing that inflation, economic cycle fluctuation and other risks may compromise a stable and reassuring post-retirement life.

"The pension system designed by government in theory can provide basic old age care, but current policies' lack of fairness and efficiency has dampened public confidence," Ye said.

"It is impossible to solely rely on the insurance payment of companies and staff to pay all pensions," said Tang Jun, Secretary of Social Policies Research Center with Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

China has the largest senior population in the world, with 194 million people at or above the age of 60 at the end of last year, according to the China National Committee on Aging.

This age group is expected to grow to 243 million by 2020 and by 2050, one third of the population will be aged over 60.

With an aging society, fewer people are paying social insurance while more people are taking a pension. A government fiscal subsidy and a state-owned capital supplement should be in place to support pension payments, Tang said.

The recently concluded key Communist Party of China meeting proposed to lower the social insurance premium rate and transfer a certain amount of state capital to support social insurance funds.

"As is the case in developed countries, the public should pay a certain amount of income-based insurance and all receive a similar amount as a basic pension, while those who pay more can get more in supplement," Tang said. "The social insurance system should balance fairness and efficiency to motivate and reassure the public."

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