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Chinese Officials Shirk Responsibility for Social Security Deficit

By Gao Zitan
Epoch Times Staff
Created: July 17, 2012 Last Updated: July 30, 2012
Related articles: China » Business & Economy
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An attendant gives massage to a senior citizen in an elder care center on Oct. 16, 2007 in Chongqing, China. (China Photos/Getty Images)

An attendant gives massage to a senior citizen in an elder care center on Oct. 16, 2007 in Chongqing, China. (China Photos/Getty Images)

The Chinese regime raised the retirement age in China a month ago, despite the public’s strong opposition, in order to protect government interests.

State-run media People’s Daily online conducted a survey in which 93.7 percent of the people opposed the new policy. Other state-run media also reported that the most significant opposition came from people of all social classes. 

Yet, the state has declared that the new retirement age is an unavoidable trend. The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said the new retirement age would help decrease the country’s annual 1.7 trillion yuan (US $267.6 billion) social security deficit by around 20 billion yuan (US $3.1 billion).

In an interview with The Epoch Times, prominent Chinese author and economist He Qinglian said China’s social security insurance system exists to satisfy and guarantee the interests of Chinese officials, and the increased retirement age switches responsibility from the government to the people.

“The huge insolvency of China’s retirement insurance fund has come to the state of bankruptcy and it resorts to the extension of retirement age so as to alleviate its burden. To communist China, it is time to disavow its responsibility,” she said.

According to Ms. He, the Finance Ministry, which handles all the finances, does not require China’s civil servants and members of state enterprises to pay social security contributions. Instead, civilian enterprises and their members pay. In other words, members of civilian enterprises are shouldering the bill for the Party, the government, and members of state enterprises.

The contribution rate from civilian enterprises and their members has reached 28 percent, and more than 8 percent is used to supplement civil servants and state enterprise employees, says Ms. He. In 2010, the Chinese regime allocated $218 billion yuan (US$4.3 billion) to the Finance Ministry for the expenses of retired civil servants, which amounts to 5.4 percent of the GDP, according to Netease Financial Edition online.

He Qinglian believes that while Chinese officials have various interpretations of the insolvency of the retirement fund, it cannot be denied that there is a huge flaw. 

“Ten years ago, the deficit was 10 trillion yuan (US$1.5 trillion) and it could allegedly reach 30 trillion yuan (US$4.7 trillion) Now, some say it is 1.3 trillion yuan (US$203 billion). All these figures are disclosed by government officials and the exact figures are not known by outsiders,” she said. “From the information available, the malady of the retirement fund has long festered due to continued spending, misuse by the government, and embezzlement by voraciously corrupt officials … .”

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