Opinion / Opinion Line

Discussions on retirement age help decision-making

(China Daily) Updated: 2015-12-08 07:47

Discussions on retirement age help decision-making

Senior citizens chat at a retirement home in Beijing. [Photo/Xinhua]

IN A REPORT RELEASED on Wednesday, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences proposed the retirement age should be the same for men and women if the country follows its plan of progressively delayed retirement in the next two to three decades. However, in an online survey, 80 percent of respondents were against the idea. makes the following comments:

What the authorities need to do is to hold more discussions and promote greater transparency in their decision-making process, so that whatever is done, people accept it rather than feeling the rules are being imposed upon them.

The reason that 80 percent of respondents opposed the same retirement age for both men and women says more about the public's views on the decision-making process rather than about the actual decision. Ever since it was first suggested that people might need to retire at a later age than current standards, the authorities have seldom seriously solicited public opinions; all they have done is announce draft policies.

The proposal has been raised by the academy, but it represents the intention of the authorities. Even if the public widely opposes these policies there will hardly be any changes to them.

That's the usual practice of domestic bureaucracies, and one that used to be effective 10 years ago. But now, since everyone can express their opinions via the Internet, that does not work anymore. It is time that domestic officials learned the basic principle that they need to persuade the public to accept their decisions instead of imposing their decisions upon them.

If officials mean to do something, first they should talk to the people that will be affected.

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