China to raise retirement age gradually and carefully

China to raise retirement age gradually and carefully

Spokesperson of China's Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security says the increase in the retirement age will be brought in through different stages, rather than all at once. [File photo: Chinanews.com]

China's Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security is moving to ease concerns about the impending rise of the retirement age.

Ministry spokesperson Li Zhong says the increase in the retirement age is going to be brought in through different stages, rather than all at once.

"As of the end of 2015, there were 220 million people who were at the age of 60 or above in China, accounting for 16.1 percent of the total population. China has become an aging society, and the trend is being reinforced. In this context, it is important to consider how to make effective use of the human resources and how to promote a social security system in a fairer and more sustainable way? Based on this consideration, we proposed the policy of gradually raising retirement age."

Plans to increase the retirement age in China have been under debate for the past few years, and are expected to be implemented within the next 5-years.

Mandatory retirement ages for laborers in China is currently set at 50 for women and 60 for men.

"White collar" workers are 5-years later, at 55 and 65 for women and men.

Source: english.cri.cn/12394/2016/07/23/4203s935269.htm

The current retirement ages were set in the 1950's, when life-expectancy rates were well below what they are today.