China plans to raise retirement age in phases

Under the country’s five-year plan, the retirement age will be raised in a “phased manner”, said China's Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.
By: | March 17, 2021

Dr Jin Weigang, head of the Chinese Academy of Labour and Social Security under the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, said the retirement age will be increased by a few months every year, or by a month every few months. No details of when the changes might start were given.  

“People in different age groups will be retiring at different ages,” Dr Jin said. “For example, in the first year of the policy’s implementation, female workers who were originally scheduled to retire at 50 will retire one month or a few months after 50.” 

It will not be a “one-size-fits-all” plan and should leave room for individuals who wish to retire early, Dr Jin said, adding that the policy would have some flexibility to accommodate various kinds of workers’ desires to retire at different ages. 

Dr Jin’s comments provided a rare peek into the official thinking behind China’s controversial proposal to raise retirement age, which was outlined in its 14th five-year plan as a measure to address the country’s rapidly ageing population and dwindling working population.  

READ: China to prioritise employment policies, says Premier Li

China has one of the world’s lowest retirement ages. Currently, based on laws enacted in 1978, male white-collar workers retire at 60 while females at 55, according to Bloomberg.