The Chinese regime recently revealed that its social insurance system reported a $96 billion deficit in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy. Consequently, China’s state-run media has encouraged people to pay for social insurance programs. The Epoch Times spoke with some Chinese citizens who shared their concerns about the social insurance system and expressed distrust towards the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
According to the Chinese regime’s budget report, the revenue of the social insurance fund in 2020 is 7.21 trillion yuan (about $1.11 trillion), a decrease of 13.3 percent from the previous year; and social insurance expenditure exceeded revenue by 621.917 billion yuan (about $96 billion), according to a report by state-run People’s Daily. The budget report was revealed during the “two sessions”—an annual meeting of China’s rubber-stamp legislature—earlier this month.
China’s social security system has two types of social insurance—one for full-time employees and the other for temporary workers, according to Chinese news portal Sina. Full-time employees have five different types of insurance programs: pension, medical insurance, unemployment insurance, work injury insurance, and maternity insurance. Temporary workers have two types of insurance programs: pension and medical insurance.
In order to receive pension benefits, one must meet the legal age requirement for retirement and has been contributing to their social security for at least 15 years prior to retirement.
According to Chinese social insurance law, the insurance is mainly paid by companies and individuals, not the government. The total social security contribution rate of companies and individuals is as high as 41 percent of pre-tax income, which is a heavy burden, according to The Congressional-Executive Commission on China. The number of people who refuse to pay social insurance is increasing, People’s Daily reported.
Liu Ming (alias), an employee at a law firm in Beijing, told The Epoch Times that people are unwilling to contribute to social insurance because the salary in the private sector is low. If the social security is deducted from the workers’ salary every month, then their take-home pay would be greatly reduced—especially for migrant workers who are employed in temporary low-paying jobs in the cities. Liu also said that the private enterprises in mainland China have a heavy tax burden and it would make the situation more difficult if they had to contribute to their employees’ social insurance benefits.
A university lecturer surnamed Xue told The Epoch Times, “When the mainland media began to talk about the necessity and benefits of purchasing social insurance, anyone with a little brain knew that the reason behind such propaganda was that there is a big deficit hole in the pension that really can’t be filled. Then who wants to sacrifice their own income, filling the bottomless pit created by the government’s corruption?”
Liu said, “Social insurance has a very large regulatory loophole. It involves a lot of corruption, a lot of behind-the-scenes transactions, colluding, and embezzlement.”
Liu pointed out that there is a huge number of government employees in mainland China that the taxpayers need to support. She said that there is no other country in the world like China where so many people take advantage of taxpayers’ money, including government employees and state-owned enterprises. This large group has increased the economic burden, especially for the privately-owned small and medium enterprises, she said.
Li Hua (alias), a factory worker, told the publication that she never contributed to social security because she doesn’t trust the communist regime. “Nothing is insured, no protection at all. When you are sick, the insurance doesn’t cover [the medical expenses]. Education is not guaranteed. And when you get old, pension is not guaranteed. Where is the social insurance protection?!”
“The common people who pay for social insurance are giving their money away and supporting the government employees. You work your tail off to make money for them, and you have nothing. They are exploiting the common people to death,” Li added.
Xue said that social insurance is one of the regime’s excuses to squeeze wealth from individuals and private sectors. Therefore, many people will refuse to pay for social insurance.
She added, “The Chinese government is fighting with the people for profit. In the past two decades, they have used all kinds of clever tricks to plunder the common people and have done it more and more brazenly. Anyone with a discerning eye can see this clearly. People are feeling angry, but don’t have the courage to speak up.”
Luo Ya and Zhang Yujie contributed to the report.