Thursday, July 05, 2012

China: Official Proposes Pushing Retirement Age to 65 by 2045

He Ping, director of the Social Security Research Institute under the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS), has proposed that China should gradually push back the retirement age for both men and women to 65 by 2045. Announcing his proposal at a workshop on coping with the aging population, he said that the changes should begin in 2016 by adding one year every two years over a period of ten years.

In China, the retirement age is currently 60 for men, 55 for female civil servants and 50 for other female workers. Li Jun, an expert with the Institute of Quantitative & Technical Economics under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), also recommended a timely increase in the retirement age. He expressed that this aim is not to promote growth but to reduce the speed of the shrinking of the overall labor force size, to weaken the anticipated increase in costs to the labor force. But he pointed out that the age of retirement is extremely important, and must be treated cautiously in policy making.
Cai Fang, director of the CASS Institute of Population and Labor Economics, argued that China can gradually push back its retirement age in response to the dramatic decline in working age population. However, Cai did indicate that the circumstances for China to extend its retirement age are yet to mature since the country's older generation usually lacks the sufficient educational background to meet the new requirements of their job positions. Therefore, it would be better for the government to adopt a flexible policy in this regard and, at the same time, provide more training opportunities for the elderly.
Sources: Morning Whistle "China should push retirement age to 65 as aging problems grow, official says" (July 2, 2012); "Proposal to push retirement age to 65" (July 2, 2012); ChinaSmack "Experts Propose Increasing China’s Reitrement Age to 65" (July 2, 2012)

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