Former Chinese soldier fighting for his pension after being told he’s a woman

Retired military man has spent past five months trying to have administrative error corrected

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 July, 2018, 2:55pm
UPDATED : Monday, 30 July, 2018, 2:55pm

A former soldier turned bank worker got a surprise earlier this year when he discovered that according to official records at least, he is a woman.

The 62-year-old surnamed Tian, from Zhengzhou, capital of central China’s Henan province, retired from the military in the 1980s and took a job with Agriculture Bank of China in his home city, Thepaper.cn reported on Monday.

In 2015, at age 60, he retired from work altogether. It was only at the end of last year that he heard that as a former member of the armed forces he was entitled to a military pension, so he began making inquiries. And that was when the confusion started.

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On his first visit to the social security bureau in Henan in February to get a copy of his official retirement papers so he could apply for his payment, he was shocked to discover his gender given as “female”, the report said.

Despite the obvious error, the clerk at the bureau refused to edit the document, and instead passed it to the social security bureau. That was five months ago and despite several visits to various government departments, Tian remains a woman in the eyes of the bureaucrats.

“I came here myself with my ID card, so why can’t they just correct the error?” he was quoted as saying.

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While no one seems sure where or how the confusion started, during his most recent visit to the social security bureau, Tian was told he would have to go back to his former employer and start from there.

A day later he called the bank where he used to work and was told his case was being processed.

“I really have no idea why it’s so difficult,” he said.