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China Plans to Delay the Legal Age for Retirement

China is planning to delay the legal age for retirement, due to a concern that most companies cannot afford pensions.

On Dec. 24, National People’s Congress reviewed the amendment for the nation’s pension mechanism, which delayed the nation’s legal age for retirement to 65 for males and 60 for females.

“The proposal was made by considering the nation’s human resource structure, education system, and the average life span for all Chinese citizens,” said Ma Kai (馬凱), China’s vice premier.

National People’s Congress member Su Xiaoyun (蘇曉雲) admitted the major concern came from the cash shortage for most companies in China.

“It will be a big problem for the nation’s economy if most companies cannot afford pensions,” Su said.

Su said that amendment proposed to prolong the career length for another five years, that men would retire at 65 and women at 60. He said that for most Chinese employees, men would retire at 60 while women would leave their jobs at 55, but “actually most of them look like 50s, both physically and mentally.”

“The new mechanism will not impact any employee’s legal rights or jeopardize our social security system, but it will help the nation’s economy a lot,” Su said.

Lu Zushan (呂祖善), another member for the Congress, said that the new mechanism is a must-do, but it may also create new social problems. For the younger generations, he said, it may not be a good idea because it will make their job hunting tougher, now that there will not be that many vacancies as what it was before.

Huang Sihua (黃細花), another member for the Congress, proposed a “flexible mechanism,” that the government may come up with the regulations of “the earliest retirement age,” “the normal retirement age,” and “the latest retirement age” for people to decide their best timing for withdrawing from the job market, while those who choose to retire late will be subject to more pensions as well.

“I believe that the majority will oppose to the idea, if we force everybody to retire late,” she said.