Xinhua News Agency, Beijing, February 26 (Reporters Jiang Lin, Wang Youling) Vice Minister of Human Resources and Social Security You Jun said at a press conference of the State Council Information Office on the 26th that the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security is working with relevant departments to study specific reform plans for delaying retirement . Since delaying the retirement age involves the vital interests of the majority of employees, in the process of plan research and formulation, opinions from all parties will be widely listened to, suggestions from all walks of life will be fully absorbed, and the greatest common divisor will be obtained to ensure that the plan is scientifically feasible and smoothly implemented.
The “14th Five-Year Plan” proposes to implement a gradual delay in the statutory retirement age. “This is a major decision made based on the overall situation of my country’s economic and social development. It will not only contribute to the full utilization of my country’s human resources, but also enhance the sustainability of the social security system and better protect the basic lives of the people.” You Jun said.
In his view, my country’s current legal retirement age stipulates that male workers are 60 years old, female cadres are 55 years old, and female workers are 50 years old. They were determined in the early days of the People’s Republic of China based on the average life expectancy, working conditions, and employment methods at that time. Now that my country’s economy and society have undergone tremendous changes, the problem of the overall low retirement age has become very prominent.
He said that the retirement age does not match the average life expectancy. The average life expectancy in China was about 40 years old at the beginning of the founding of New China, and it has increased to 77.3 years by 2019. The average life expectancy of urban residents is even higher, exceeding 80 years.
The second is not adapting to changes in population structure and the development trend of aging. It is expected that during the “14th Five-Year Plan” period, my country’s elderly population will exceed 300 million people, from mild to moderate ageing. Such changes will have a profound impact on economic and social development and society.
The third is not adapting to changes in the relationship between labor supply and demand. The number of working-age population in my country has been declining since 2012, with an average annual decrease of more than 3 million, and the reduction is increasing. It is expected that there will be a decrease of 35 million during the “14th Five-Year Plan” period.
Fourth is the waste of human resources. Among the newly-increased labor force in my country, the proportion of people who have received higher education has exceeded half, and the average number of years of education has been extended to 13.7 years, and the age at which people start working has also been delayed accordingly. When the retirement age remains the same, the average working life will naturally be shortened, leading to a waste of human resources and a decline in the utilization rate of human capital. Especially in universities, hospitals, scientific research institutions and some high-tech industries, these industries and units where highly educated personnel are concentrated, the situation is particularly prominent.
“From an international point of view, delaying the retirement age is a common practice in all countries in the world to deal with population aging. At present, the retirement age in major economies in the world is generally above 65.” You Jun said, “Our plan must draw on international practices. We must fully consider our country’s actual national conditions, cultural traditions, and historical evolution. Only a plan based on the national conditions will be the best plan.”
Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security is studying specific reform plans for delaying retirement-Xinhua English.news.cn