More people encouraged to retire
Updated: 2006-07-11 11:33

At present, the number of people retiring from work has increased in society. China's welfare system is facing a heavy financial burden and many workers are encouraged to retire at an earlier age. In light of this situation, the weekly magazine Liaowang (Lookout) recently carried an article in which some scholars suggested that China should alleviate its social welfare financial burden by making more people retire at an earlier age, like in the United States, Japan, and Britain. However, some experts objected to this suggestion. In their opinion, in order to reduce the pressure adding on China's welfare system, the most important task should be getting rid of all those abnormal "early retirement policies". In some specific areas, the work units could set a time range for retirement age so that people could arrange their life in a better way.

After conducting an investigation, a national authority recently pointed out that among the group of people that had retired recently in China's ten cities, one-third had retired before the mandatory age mark set by the government. In some public service institutions, workers are encouraged or even forced to retire earlier because the work unit tries to raise work efficiency by cutting down the number of workers.

Secretary-general of the Social Policy Research Center from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and researcher from the Social Research Institute Tang Jun said that in order to handle the labor shortage problem in an aging society, some developed countries had raised the retirement age of workers. In China, however, aging problem is not that serious. Firstly, China has a large base number for labor resources. Even in 2015-2020 when China's labor resources would reach its lowest point as some people predicted, there would still be 750 million working population available in China then. And even at that time, it seems not necessary for China to raise the retirement age. Secondly, if China could adhere to its policy of raising the ethnic quality and developing technology-intensive industries to create more social wealth, the young population, although relatively small in number, would be able to support the old. So there is no need to over-emphasize the aging problem.

Regarding the raising of retirement age, director of the Social Security Research Institute from the Public Management School of the Renmin University of China Li Shaoguang said that we should view the issue in light of specific situation. On the whole, it is impractical to raise the retirement age because currently, the greater part of China's workforce mainly do the primary jobs. However, in some specific areas, such as Party institutes and high-tech fields, we could take a more lenient retirement policy by setting a time range for retirement.

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