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Shenzhen Pension Rules Eased for Expats, Migrants
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Shenzhen has revised its pension policy to allow more workers not holding the Shenzhen hukou, or residence permit, to be covered by the social insurance network.

The new regulation, which was approved by the city government recently, makes workers contributing to the government-run pension scheme for 15 years or more eligible to receive a monthly pension or a one-time lump-sum payment in Shenzhen upon retirement, the city's management center of social security fund announced Monday.

The new policy, which will become effective soon, will apply to migrant workers and expatriates as well, Du Bin, vice director of the management center toldĀ Shenzhen Daily yesterday.

Before the revision, non-hukou holders had to contribute to the scheme for five consecutive years right before retirement to be entitled to a pension. All workers, regardless of whether they held the hukou or not, had to contribute to the scheme for 15 years or above.

The five-year requirement has been scrapped under the new rule.

The retiring age for males is 60 and 50 or 55 for females, according to current regulations. Female public servants are allowed to retire at 55 and their worker peers at 50.

For non-hukou workers who have contributed to the scheme for less than 15 years, they will be paid a lump-sum compensation in addition to the accumulated amount in their personal account, upon retirement, Du said.

The previous requirement of five years' work in Shenzhen before retirement was not a discriminatory clause targeting migrant workers, but only meant to ensure full participation in the scheme, he said.

"It proves to be a discouragement rather than a driving factor, so we dropped it," said Du.

The revision, however, doesn't mean people don't have to contribute to the pension scheme after paying for 15 years. "The more you pay, the more you will benefit from the scheme," said Du.

So far, about 1,000 people from outside the mainland have joined the scheme, including foreigners and residents of Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao, statistics from the center show.

(Shenzhen Daily November 15, 2006)

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