采访/陈汉 编辑/王子琦 后制/黎安安
China Raises Retirement Age to Make up the Deficit
The third plenum of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has
decided that the retirement age delay policy will be
carried out gradually.
A much debated issue has finally turned into a reality.
While opposing the decision, the Chinese have also questioned
where has the pension gone.
Some believe the authorities are transferring
the crisis to the people.
Specialists criticizes that the authorities are tackling
the crisis with another crisis.
The third plenary decision published on 15th November outlined
five major issues concerning social security, of which
delaying the retirement age taking the front seat.
Publicly available data show the pension fund can grow
by 4 billion yuan ($656.5 million), save 16 billion yuan in
spending and decrease 20 billion yuan in fund shortages
if the retirement age is extended by a year,
reported a Chinese media.
The controversial retirement policy has finally set its tone.
This is the first time the CCP explicitly documented
its policy to raise the retirement age.
But it met strong opposition.
Obviously, this policy relays pension pressure
from the state to the Chinese people.
Ren Haoning is a researcher at an energy investment firm.
He does not believe raising the retirement age will solve
the fundamental problem.
It is a crisis to crisis strategy, an unconventional method
to gradually fill up the pension deficit at the expense of
the average working class.
Li Xuehui, staff of China Pacific Insurance Group: I have
only one question regarding, raising the retirement age.
Where has our pension gone?
Our GDP is claimed to be world number two.
We have so much money for foreign aid.
Did we not aid the North Korean nuclear plan?
So where has our pension gone?
One question. Who took our money?
Facing all the opposition, the Ministry of Human Resources
and Social Security responded that a buffer period will
follow before the policy is fully implemented.
Ma Jiesen, NTD TV economic correspondent: This deficit is
so huge that it is absolutely impossible to make it up by
simply delaying retirement.
The main reason for this huge deficit is that the CCP has
never set up an effective pension reserve since the growing
state revenue in 2008.
In stead, it spent money carelessly on face-saving projects
such as the Olympics.
China Pension Report (CPR) 2012, compiled by the Center
for International Social Security Studies at the Chinese
Academy of Social Sciences,
points out that the shortfall in the individual account
reached 2.22 trillion yuan ($355.9 billion) in 2011.
So, how can the huge gap in the nation’s pension be made up?
According to the media’s estimate, with 30% of state revenue
input, annual social security funds will increase by
at least three trillion.
The third plenary decision claimed that by 2020, 30% of
state revenue will turn into funds for livelihood.
Jin Weigang, the Head of the Social Security Research
Institute at the Ministry of Human Resources and Social
Security told the Chinese media
that the national social security fund
and the social insurance fund are of a different
nature from the pension funds.
Thus they will not be used to cover the deficit of
the basic pension insurance fund.
Ma Jiesen: Everything reflects how the CCP have operated
in the last decades.
They relay the burden onto society quickly, such as in
the cases of the pension system and the social housing system.
But it is very difficult for them to assume the obligations.
It is because of the low efficiency of the government.
The corruption has absorbed all the money.
There is not much left for the people.
There are reports saying that the younger generation will be
hit hardest from the raised retirement age.
While the CCP claimed its 10% economic growth,
there were on average 14 million people unemployed.
Statistics show 6 to 7 million retirees in China per year.
Now that China’s economic growth is down to 7%,
with the job losses and the delayed retirement plan,
all available jobs could simply disappear.
Li Xuehui: Politically, they claim they
are wholeheartedly there for the people.
I pay what I am supposed to pay.
We give up our rights and hand over our political rights
to the CCP.
We paid for our retirement plan, but now
our retirement is delayed.
We really need to think about it.
Not cherishing our political rights, we have now
become the sacrifice.
It is said that in spite of the opposition, the retirement
decision has been made.
The decision is a must because of the huge deficit.
People have always paid what they are supposed to.
Now it is clear who took the pensions.
Interview / Chan Han Edit / Wang Ziqi