Pro­gres­sive steps to raise re­tire­ment age

China Daily (Canada) - - COMMENT -

(jian­jin­shiyan­chi­tu­ixiu) China will raise the re­tire­ment age in pro­gres­sive steps, Hu Xiaoyi, deputy min­is­ter of Hu­man Re­sources and So­cial Se­cu­rity, said on Tues­day. Con­sid­er­ing China’s cur­rent de­vel­op­ment stage and emerg­ing prob­lems, rais­ing the re­tire­ment age would have to fig­ure on the gov­ern­ment agenda, he said.

By em­pha­siz­ing the term “pro­gres­sive”, Hu im­plied that the re­tire­ment age would be raised gen­tly so as not to make things dif­fi­cult for the peo­ple. Ac­cord­ing to Hu, the re­form would be im­ple­mented in phases, and is likely to start with peo­ple re­tir­ing at the youngest age and then ex­pand to cover oth­ers. He, how­ever, de­nied that civil ser­vants would be the first to have their re­tire­ment age ex­tended.

Em­ploy­ees will be no­ti­fied a few years be­fore the sched­uled re­tire­ment date and the gov­ern­ment will ex­plore em­ploy­ment chan­nels for se­nior cit­i­zens that won’t re­duce op­por­tu­ni­ties for youths, Hu said. It is likely that the gov­ern­ment will raise the re­tire­ment age by a few months each year to en­sure a smooth tran­si­tion and com­plete the re­form over a rel­a­tively long time.

By im­ple­ment­ing the re­form in a pro­gres­sive way, the coun­try will “not only re­al­ize steady tran­si­tion of the new pol­icy, but also avoid a huge im­pact on the cur­rent em­ploy­ment sit­u­a­tion”, he said. The cur­rent re­tire­ment age in China is 60 years for men, and be­tween 50 and 55 for women. But with life ex­pectancy in­creas­ing to 74 years and work­ing con­di­tions im­prov­ing dras­ti­cally, there is need to raise the re­tire­ment age, Hu said.

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