Social insurance program leaves expats confused

Updated: 2014-01-24 09:16

(China Daily)

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Improving the system

To improve the program for expats, the Chinese government will negotiate bilateral social insurance agreements with other countries.

The agreement with Denmark was signed in December, said Hu Xiaoyi, vice-minister of human resources and social security, at a news conference that month. He said China has negotiated agreements with 12 countries during the past three years.

Xi, from Northwest University, said two features of the social insurance system are widely accepted in the international labor market. The first concerns bilateral agreements, such as those with Denmark, South Korea and Germany. The second relates to a system used in the European Union where expats are exempted from paying two premiums; their pensions are distributed by different EU countries, depending on how long they worked in a particular country.

"We can utilize the EU's experience in the East Asia region to recognize social insurance in countries and regions in East Asia," Xi said.

Lu from Renmin University of China suggested that information about the policy and its implementation should be provided to foreigners when they enter the country to ensure they are fully briefed before they start work.

"The information should be displayed at airports and included in service brochures for foreigners. As things stand now, the policy lacks transparency," he said.

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Tan Yingzi contributed to this story.

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