Retirement age plan due before 2020: official

Updated: 2014-03-10 21:43

BEIJING -- China will introduce its plans on raising the retirement age before 2020, a senior official has pledged, as the government looks to push ahead with the contentious overhaul to cope with a shrinking workforce and an aging society.

"As raising the retirement age is among the major tasks outlined in a key reform meeting last year, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security will definitely introduce the plan before 2020," head of the ministry Yin Weimin told reporters on the sidelines at the ongoing session of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature.

Repeating the official tone of taking progressive and tiny steps, Yin did not elaborate on policy details.

China's retirement age is 60 for men, 55 for female white-collar workers and 50 for female blue-collar employees.

As the country's labor market and pension system face increasing pressures from an aging population, authorities have realized the need for a change in the framework.

Latest official data showed China's working-age population dropped 2.44 million to 919.54 million in 2013, the second straight year of decline, while the number of those aged above 60 reached 202.43 million.

Although the government seems determined to change the retirement policy, any attempt is set to meet vehement public resistance as it would mean more work and a delayed pension.

Admitting difficulties, Yin stressed that authorities will carefully study suggestions from different parties in the policy-making process.