Plan would aid social security transfer
Updated: 2012-05-03 07:05
By Chen Xin (China Daily)
China plans to establish a system that will efficiently help with the transfer and continuation of workers' social security accounts after they change workplaces, the State Council said on Wednesday.
The State Council approved a five-year plan to speed up the establishment of a network to cover both urban and rural residents by 2015.
There are five types of social insurance in China: basic endowment, basic medical, unemployment, work injury and maternity.
A government circular that took effect in 2010 ensures that workers can have their basic endowment insurance payments transferred and continued when they change jobs.
But experts say insufficient facilities and different software used in various workplaces have made the transfer inefficient.
Lu Xuejing, a social security expert at Beijing-based Capital University of Economics and Business, said only around 730,000 workers had their pension accounts successfully transferred by the end of 2011, though many more people than that had changed workplaces.
"So few transfers suggests that time is needed to perfect the system," she said.
Local governments are not yet well-prepared for the implementation because they do not share the same information system and software, so problems can occur when linking up accounts, Lu said.
Many places also lack sufficient skilled personnel, she said.
Zheng Bingwen, head of the Global Pension Fund Research Center at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said insufficient facilities in some remote areas also delay transfers.
The circular stipulates that pension account transfers and continuation should be completed within 30 days.
The number of migrant works who participated in basic endowment insurance declined by 760,000 from the end of 2011 to the end of March this year, according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.
Yin Chengji, a spokesman for the ministry, said labor flow has led to a smaller number of endowment insurance participants.
Lu partly attributed it to the inefficiency of the pension accounts transfer.
"Complicated procedures and inefficient operation make many migrant workers shy away from the pension system," she said.
Chinese law stipulates that workers can collect pensions after they pay into endowment insurance for 15 years.
To make the project more efficient, Lu suggests that a unified information platform be set up, the same software used across the country and more skilled personnel trained.
Regarding the other four social insurance programs, Zheng said the benefits of basic medical, unemployment, work injury and maternity insurances can be used immediately, so it's unnecessary to consider their transfer and continuation.