Pensions postponed as party eyes increase in retirement age

China's increasingly aged population will have to saty at work longer if mooted changes to the retirement age are implemented

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 November, 2013, 1:50pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 November, 2013, 1:50pm

Workers in the mainland who want to stay in their jobs longer may be disappointed as a senior party spokesman said the retirement age would be advanced up to a year later as part of an experiment to deal with the country’s increasingly aged population.

Men retire in China at the age of 60, while many women retire at 50.

The proposal was one of the reforms listed on the Communist Party’s agenda in a resolution released after the keynote third plenum, but few details have been released about how the government is going to implement the controversial measure.

Reforms must be gradual, Yang Weimin, deputy head of the office of the central economic and financial leading group, said on Wednesday at a State Council briefing.

While the direction has been decided by the third plenum, the implementation of the retirement age reform must not be abrupt, he said.

The media in the mainland has speculated that the reform would be introduced first among civil servants and in government-related departments.

The authorities say the current retirement age in China was set in the 1950s and is no longer practical in view of the country’s ageing society and mounting pressure on the pension system.

Experts have previously warned that two taxpayers will be supporting one pensioner by 2035.

The reform is controversial. On June 6, a public survey by asked: “Do you think the age of retirement should be raised?” Over 2.3 million people responded. Among them, over 2.2 million said no to the idea ... almost 95 per cent.