China / Society

Policy ensures Chinese retirees claim pension in US

( Updated: 2015-08-27 09:53

Chinese retirees living in the United States are now eligible to receive a pension back in China.

The policy now allows Chinese retirees who have obtained a US green card to be covered under the Chinese pension plan.

Chang Kai, a labor expert with Renmin University, says the policy decision is mostly about fairness.

"The pension benefits depends on one's contribution payments made during their working life. It will continue to exist wherever you are. It's a kind of debt obligation the government has that will never change, even if one's citizenship changes."

People in China usually begin to receive their pensions a month after finalizing their retirement.

However, many retirees living abroad just give up trying to claim the money because of the difficulty in contacting the right department to get the payments made.

At the same time, many are unaware or concerned they'll be rejected if applying for the benefits abroad.

However, Guan Xinping with Nankai University says there is no reason to be concerned.

"You can claim your pension, no matter where you live or which citizenship you hold. As long as you paid your pension fees before retirement, you will receive it. It's a rule in the country's pension system."

Guan Xinping notes this is a common practice throughout the world.

"Many countries, especially member states of the European Union, have signed agreements to ensure retirees who had worked in different countries receive their pensions through a single account."

The Chinese applicants abroad need to file the proper documents, including a qualification review form.

They also have to submit both the original and a copy of their passport and a certificate of legal residence in the country.

The form is available at Chinese embassies or consulates.

Guan Xinping says making this option available has made things much easier for people living abroad.

"It's much easier for applicants to contact the closest Chinese embassy or consulate than it is to return to China to complete the application."

It's estimated more than 2-million Chinese immigrants are living in the United States.

Latest surveys show the number of Chinese retirees opting to live in the US is continuing to rise.

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