Fixing two-track system vital to pension reform

By Ni Tao
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Shanghai Daily, October 28, 2013
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It is reported recently that several ministries have reached a consensus to prolong the current 15-year period for which most Chinese citizens are required to fund their pension accounts.

Derailed [By Jiao Haiyang/]

Since China’s pension system is beset by a gargantuan deficit, estimated at 2 to 8 trillion yuan (US$1.32 trillion), any news about how to fill this deficit will inevitably draw attention, and spark discussion.

Although the talk of prolonging the funding period is no longer new — discussion and speculation have long been rife — it still grates to know that the other shoe has dropped — the widely resented policy option will materialize.

In a word, the policy is criticized for it is synonymous with postponement of the retirement age.

More important, the ministerial consensus stirred controversy because it seems to be the result of a recent conclave, including the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Civil Affairs, and dozens of experts on pension matters, according to reports by the Beijing Times newspaper recently.


The two-day conclave was held behind closed doors, but despite the secrecy, word still got out that the group was considering extension of the pension funding period. Besides, the reported signing of four versions of pension reform plans, with all participants signing a confidentiality agreement, further added to secrecy.

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