Firms unsure over new social security scheme

Updated: 2011-11-04 08:06

By Lan Lan (China Daily)

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BEIJING - The majority of companies with foreign workers are adopting a wait-and-see attitude toward the new social security scheme, according to a survey.

A recent regulation mandating foreigners with a work permit in China to be included in the social security system has sparked concern among the business community over rising costs.

"A small number of companies have started paying the new social security for their foreign employees, while the majority of employers are still debating how to move forward," said Greta Mikelonis, who works in Shanghai with Mercer, the human resources company that conducted the survey.

The survey was based on feedback from 475 companies. About 16 percent said that they were considering changing employee remuneration packages for 2012, while the remaining 84 percent said they had no plans to make any changes at the moment.

"It will generate additional costs and employers will bear bigger costs than the employees, so companies with foreign employees will be affected," Mikelonis said.

The surveyed companies included wholly owned foreign companies, joint ventures, State-owned and private companies, but 85 percent were exclusively foreign owned.

"Basically, a lot of employers are still waiting for further developments. Details for implementation have come out in Beijing, but are still unclear in many other cities," she said.

There would be no going back on the scheme, Xu Yanjun, deputy head of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security's National Social Security Management Center, was quoted by Reuters as saying.

However, he admitted that the system needs to be improved to function more efficiently.

Firms unsure over new social security scheme

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