Zhejiang introduces 'clean pension' system
A career free of corruption may pay off, in cash, in Zhejian Province.
As of January 1, government employees in the East China province may get a clean pension of 300,000 yuan (US$36,000) after retirement if they are proven to have been clean and honest during their tenure.
Zhejiang Province plans to introduce a Guaranteed Money System for Clean Government in Xiacheng District of Hangzhou, the provincial capital, and Cixi, reported local Modern Golden News.
Zhu Zhongyi, Party secretary of the Discipline Inspection Commission of Xiacheng District of Hangzhou, said the clean pension is made up of the supplement paid by an official each year and subsidies paid by the local government.
For example, a new public servant at the age of 22 will be required to pay 500 yuan (US$60) yearly while the local government will subsidize 150 yuan (US$18) every year, with the combined sum standing at 650 yuan,, Zhu added.
The amounts of money increase according to the length of service and the specific work posts.
That means a public servant may get up to 300,000 yuan (US$36,000) upon retirement.
"Anyone who is punished during their tenure will not get the full amount," said Zhu, adding that different punishments will lead to variable deductions.
Those who have received warnings will be deducted 20 per cent of the total guarantee money, dismissed civil servants will lose 60 per cent and those who are expelled from the work units will lose the entire amount, Zhu explained.
A draft of the new pension system was handed to the Discipline Inspection Department for final approval and is expected to take effect on January 1, 2005, said Zhu.
In Cixi, the practice is called "Public Clean Government Accumulation Funds," and will be totally paid by the local government, the reports said.
Zhejiang Province is just starting to adopt the new practice, Tang Yijun, secretary-general of the Zhejiang Provincial Discipline Inspection Commission, was quoted by a local newspaper as saying.
"To get rid of graft and corruption and have a clean and honest government in place, the launch of the clean pension will be conducive to healthy government," Tang said.
Tang said the new pension structure will help reduce corruption.
"Using the economic way to ensure officials do not take bribes is worth trying," Tang said.
However, the new practice will not be applied to other places in Zhejiang Province in the near future, Tang added.
However, experts believe that the new pension system could supplement other corruption elimination methods but it is not effective enough on its own.
"More attention should be paid to build a power scrutiny system to standardize the personnel system, reform the financial management and the administrative examination and approval system," said Xu Jianfeng, vice-director of the Economic Institute under the Zhejiang Provincial Academy of Social Sciences.
Early in April, the Public Security Bureau in Huzhou of Zhejiang Province began to apply the pension scheme to police officers.
About 300 yuan (US$36) of an officer's salary is deducted every month while up to 500 yuan (US$60) will be paid by the bureau.