China unifies pension system

Updated: 2015-01-14 17:53

By Dai Tian(

  Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

Ma said the government hopes to cover 900 million people by 2017, and 1 billion in 2020, raising the coverage rate from the current 80 percent to 95 percent.

In the past two decades, China's public pension systems used different methods of payment, accounting and management, which resulted in widespread disputes.

The monthly pension for retired civil servants and staff in public institutions were 2.1 and 1.8 times the common pension level of 1,900 yuan, according to the the Ministry of Finance's fiscal science research institute.

Private urban employees pay for their pension before retirement and usually get a pension equal to about half of their final salary, but public workers get much more without making any financial contribution at all.

Background of reforming pension system

The aim of the pension reform is to build a system for the Party, government and public institutions that is similar to the one employed by the private sector so as to break the long-held dual system.

Under the dual pension system, the employees in a state agency can get 80 to 90 percent of their salary after retirement while the employees of an enterprise may only get 40 to 60 percent.

It means the pension of 37 million public servants and employees in state agencies in China will not be provided fully by the government and will have to contribute the same amount to their pensions as employees do in enterprises.

Pension reform has been stuck in the past few years as pilot programs in places, including Guangdong province and Shanghai municipality, have come to a standstill after they were launched in 2008.

Experts' view

Su Peike, researcher with University of International Business and Economics' Public Policy Research Institute:

Reform is necessary as it's a matter of bridging the gap and realizing the equality. However, challenges remain.

There's still a gap to be filled in China's pension system and the focus should be on that and also on finding a way to manage the pension system in the future under the new policies and defining the proportion of financial supplement, as well as making plans for delayed retirement.

Tang Jun, secretary Public Policy Research Institute of Chinese Academy of Social Science:

The reform will not affect the salaries of employee's in state agencies as the wages will be adjusted as they need to pay for their own pensions.