China’s retirement age-hike may be approved

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Beijing, Jan 5 (IANS) China’s plan to raise the retirement age may be put into action in 2016, but details still remain under discussion, the media reported on tuesday.

China’s ministry of human resources and social security (MHRS) will submit the plan to authorities for approval this year, and simultaneously solicit public opinions on the matter, the People’s Daily reported.

The present retirement age is 60 and the potential for a higher retirement age has sparked debate since it was first proposed.

Many academics believe it is necessary for the country to raise retirement age in order to cope with the ageing population and labour shortage.

However, the details for implementation are still in discussion. Experts debate whether it is better to adopt a one-size-fits-all approach or more flexible measures.

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A report released by the Chinese Academy of Social Science found that if the retirement age was raised by one year every four years starting from 2020, China’s working population could be maintained at 450 million by 2050.

Raising the retirement age will also improve operation of the pension fund since paying members will increase, the report said.

However, some experts believe that the plan should include some flexible measures. For instance, people could choose to retire earlier or later, but their retirement age would be linked with a pension. That way, those who pay more can also get more after retirement.

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