The old-age pension system has been released, and the old-age insurance system has been continuously improved

Complete the third pillar

  Recently, the General Office of the State Council issued the "Opinions on Promoting the Development of Individual Pensions" (hereinafter referred to as "Opinions").

The "Opinions" is a programmatic policy for the third-pillar personal pension system, which not only marks my country's multi-level and multi-pillar pension system entering a new stage of comprehensive development and improvement, but also opens a new chapter for the capital market to serve the pension cause.

  The development of personal pensions is in the ascendant, and a series of system rules need to be released urgently, which has attracted much attention.

What is the background of the introduction of personal pensions, and why is it necessary to promote the development of personal pensions?

How attractive is this system to the masses?

What is the focus of its implementation?

The reporter interviewed Dong Keyong, Secretary General of China Pension Finance 50 Forum and Distinguished Professor of the School of Social Sciences of Tsinghua University.

The introduction of the personal pension policy is a measure to actively respond to the aging of the population, which is conducive to the sustainable development of the pension system

  Reporter: What is the background of the introduction of individual pensions?

  Dong Keyong: According to the seventh census data, my country's population aged 60 and above is 264.02 million, accounting for 18.70% of the national population. Compared with 2010, this proportion has increased by 5.44 percentage points. The process is accelerating.

The "14th Five-Year Plan" and the outline of the long-term goals for 2035 propose to implement the national strategy to actively respond to population aging, improve the population service system with a focus on "one old and one small", and develop inclusive childcare and basic elderly care service systems.

Actively responding to population aging involves all aspects of work, one of the most important areas is pensions, and the introduction of individual pension policies is a measure to actively respond to population aging, which is conducive to the sustainable development of the pension system .

  Since the reform and opening up, the construction of our country's pension system has made great progress.

At present, my country's multi-level and multi-pillar pension system mainly includes three aspects, which are commonly referred to as "three pillars".

  The first pillar is public pensions, that is, basic old-age insurance, including basic old-age insurance for urban employees and basic old-age insurance for urban and rural residents. Based on basic insurance, it has covered more than 1.03 billion people, and the accumulated fund balance exceeds 6 trillion yuan.

The first pillar is pay-as-you-go, which means that the working generation pays and those who retire receive pensions.

  The second pillar is occupational pensions, including enterprise annuities and occupational annuities, which are established by employers and their employees and play a supplementary role.

By the end of 2021, more than 70 million employees will be participating in enterprise (occupational) annuities, with an accumulated fund of 4.5 trillion yuan.

It should be noted that the enterprise annuity is dominated by the enterprise, which means that the enterprise must participate in the insurance, and the employees can participate in the insurance.

At present, my country's private enterprises are mostly small and medium-sized enterprises. With the rise of new business forms, many new employment forms have emerged. For these flexible employees, it is difficult for enterprises to establish enterprise annuities for them, so the second pillar may not be able to cover this category. crowd.

  The third pillar is the establishment of an individual-led personal pension.

As early as May 2018, in order to promote the development of the third pillar of pensions, five departments including the Ministry of Finance launched pilot work on personal tax-deferred commercial pension insurance in Shanghai, Fujian (including Xiamen) and Suzhou Industrial Park, and provided Certain tax incentives; in June 2021, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission conducted a pilot program of exclusive commercial endowment insurance in Zhejiang and Chongqing. At the same time, the iconic National Pension Insurance Company has also been approved to land, providing market conditions for the development of the third pillar.

In general, my country has established the first and second pillars of pensions, and with economic development and changes in employment patterns, the shortcomings of the third pillar should also be made up at this time.

This is the background of the introduction of personal pensions.

  Reporter: There is a saying that the pension is like a bench that needs three legs, and it needs "three pillars" to be the most stable.

What do you think of this statement?

  Dong Keyong: Indeed.

There are three internationally recognized indicators for evaluating a pension system.

The first indicator is coverage, which refers to whether the pension system covers everyone who should be covered.

We have already seen that China's basic pension insurance coverage is the largest in the world.

The second indicator is adequacy, that is, whether the pensions of retirees can be adequate.

It should be noted that adequacy is not only to meet basic needs such as food and clothing.

With the gradual development of the economy, the requirements for the quality of life of the active elderly are also constantly improving. If you want to maintain the original quality of life after retirement, the pension must be at least 60% of the original salary.

The third indicator is called sustainability, that is, after meeting the requirements of coverage and adequacy, the system cannot be changed in the blink of an eye, because pensions are a long-term commitment.

  Will a single pillar work to meet the three indicators of coverage, adequacy and sustainability?


The trend of population ageing is the most important trend in the changing age structure of the world's population today, and the whole world tells us that any pension pillar alone is unstable.

  my country's basic old-age insurance system has been running smoothly.

With the improvement of the level of economic development, the level of pensions has also been continuously improved. The state raises pensions for retirees every year. If it continues to increase this year, it will be an 18th consecutive increase, which is also very rare in the world.

However, because of the challenges of accelerating ageing, the first pillar can only guarantee the basics of life.

Normal food and clothing are enough. If you want to enrich your retirement life or encounter problems, it is obviously not enough to rely on the first pillar of basic pension insurance.

On the other hand, the current second-pillar pension in my country has a narrow coverage and limited benefit to the population, which needs to be improved and standardized urgently.

  Therefore, countries around the world have discovered after exploration that pensions are just like benches. One leg is unstable. The most stable one is three legs. It does not require high physical conditions, and it does not matter if the ground is a little uneven.

Both the state guarantees the basic insurance, and the employer supports it. Individuals prepare some more, and add an accumulation on the basis of the basic old-age insurance, enterprise annuity, and occupational annuity. This is relatively stable.

The personal pension system helps participants to secure the “export” of personal pensions, and helps individuals to rationally plan pension funds, thereby effectively supplementing pensions.

  Reporter: In what ways does the individual pension system attract the masses?

  Dong Keyong: The most direct benefit of individuals participating in the personal pension system is that they can enjoy the preferential tax policies of the state.

The government encourages the insured to actively participate by giving tax incentives support.

During the pilot project of the third pillar pension, the state proposed a policy of "tax preferential", that is, you can take part of your salary every month and invest it before tax, and your investment and value preservation and appreciation will also be No tax is required, and tax is paid when you receive it, which is tax deferral.

This time, individual pension participants established their unique personal pension account through the personal pension information management service platform, and recorded all relevant information as the basis for participating in the personal pension system and enjoying preferential tax policies.

  Second, the conditions are simple.

As long as they have participated in the basic old-age insurance, whether they are employed in units or flexibly employed, they can participate in this system fairly.

The personal pension system is not restricted by employment region and household registration, and personal rights and interests are not affected when moving across provinces and regions.

Participation is more flexible.

In terms of the level of participation, participants decide for themselves whether to participate in full or part of the year.

In terms of the payment amount and payment method, as long as the annual payment cap does not exceed 12,000 yuan in the initial stage, participants can decide how much to pay, and they can pay in one time or in installments within the current year.

  Third, it can help individuals rationally plan pension funds.

Personal pension accounts are locked until retirement, the purpose is to make the funds invested by individuals really used for old-age security.

Personal pensions can only be entered in the payment stage, and personal contributions and investment income are rolled over in the account, which can realize what the masses call "rolling profits", the professional term is compound interest.

The return of compound interest is huge. If you save an asset for 40 years, you will eventually find that in the entire asset, 80% is compound interest, and the principal only accounts for 20%. Long-term savings and long-term closure are the benefits. .

Personal pensions can only be received when they reach the age of receiving basic pensions, which means that the system helps participants to secure the “export” of personal pensions, helps individuals rationally plan pension funds, and rationally choose investment products and investment periods. , to avoid early withdrawal, so as to effectively play the role of supplementary pension.

  Finally, the capital market, after all, is relatively volatile and complex. When individuals invest in the capital market, only a few people will gain something.

Now the "Opinions" make it clear that the funds in the personal pension fund account are used to purchase bank wealth management, savings deposits, commercial pension insurance, public funds, etc. that comply with the regulations. The operation is safe, mature and stable, the target is standardized, and it focuses on long-term value preservation to meet the preferences of different investors. Financial products, participants can choose products independently, and can also combine short-term, medium-term and long-term.

This is equivalent to having a shelf, everyone can choose by themselves, and after choosing which one feels inappropriate, you can change it.

It is safer for professionals to manage assets than individuals.

This is also why there are not many retail investors in foreign capital markets. It is precisely because of the design of such a pension system that institutions have replaced retail investors.

Personal pensions have the characteristics of relatively long investment period, high security and stability, and can provide long-term and stable funds for the capital market and serve major national strategies

  Reporter: There is a view that personal pensions contribute to economic development and can be used as a factor of production to feed back the economy.

How do you understand this point of view?

  Dong Keyong: I think it makes sense.

The capital market is equivalent to the blood in the human body in the entire economy and is indispensable.

For the economy to operate, whether it is production, consumption or circulation, it must be supported by the capital market.

Our country's capital market has always lacked long-term funds such as personal pensions, and the "long-term money" in the capital markets of developed countries is mainly based on accumulated pensions.

  In the past, we always heard that Americans know how to spend, but don't know how to save, and have no savings.

This statement is true only by looking at bank savings.

But it's a different story if you look at the structure of pensions.

The pension system in the United States is also the first, second and third pillars. At the end of 2020, the scale of funds accumulated in the pension system in the United States is 37.6 trillion US dollars, accounting for 179.43% of the US GDP that year, mainly from the second and third pillars. They are 22 trillion and 12 trillion respectively, and the first pillar is pay-as-you-go, amounting to 2.8 trillion.

By the end of 2020, China has saved a total of 9.32 trillion yuan, accounting for less than 10% of GDP that year.

  What is the significance of such a large-scale pension for the capital market?

Personal pension has the characteristics of relatively long investment period, high security and stability, and can provide long-term and stable funds for the capital market.

Long-term institutional investors can use their advantages to invest in capital markets or real economic projects to support the direct financing needs of corporate projects, promote the steady and long-term development of the capital market, and serve major national strategies.

For example, although we require banks to vigorously support the development of small and medium-sized enterprises, banks have a bad debt rate. If the loan is taken out and the money is not recovered, the responsibility is very large, and it is difficult to operate in practice.

But capital markets are different, they can resolve risks in a professional way.

When investing in 10 projects, as long as one or two are successful, they will earn back, and this kind of support for small and medium-sized enterprises, especially innovative enterprises, is very beneficial.

  In the sea, the wind is high and the waves are rough, and it is easy to get seasick in a small sailboat, but the super cruise can flatten the waves.

Long-term money like pensions can play the role of "ballast stone" in the capital market.

Especially in an aging society, pensions that are started early and accumulated over a long period of time are very important.

It should be noted that it has actually taken Americans a long time to save this amount of money. They have been saving since the 1970s and have been saving for more than 40 years.

I believe that 10 or 20 years after the introduction of the personal pension system, coupled with our continuous improvement of the first and second pillar pension systems, China's pension scale will be one of the largest accumulated pensions in the world. It can truly realize the transformation of saving pension into investment pension.

  Reporter: In order to implement the personal pension system well, what do you think is the most important aspect?

  Dong Keyong: I think one of the keys to the success of this system is the product.

Personal pensions are an opportunity and a challenge for our nation's financial institutions.

If you can't provide good products and manage the products well, the problem is very serious.

For example, everyone opens an account and saves 12,000 yuan a year. After a few years, if the rate of return is 4% or 5%, everyone is more motivated to pay personal pensions.

If you find that the rate of return is not as good as that of bank deposits, people may not be so interested.

Therefore, how can financial institutions design more products that are conducive to the steady appreciation of pensions, and explore how to provide participants with reasonable returns through long-term investment and value investment, so that participants can feel that ultra-long-term investment can have reliable and high returns; China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission How to strengthen supervision, crack down on violations, and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of participants is one of the keys.

  Another key is whether the system design of personal pension can make it easy for everyone to operate, as well as the strength of tax preferential policies and the convenience of enjoying preferential policies.

Judging from the current system setup, the latest personal pension system has been improved on the basis of lessons learned from the past. For example, the personal pension system adopts the account system, which makes it more convenient to enjoy tax benefits; Provide financial products for personal pensions, and superimpose tax preferential policies, everyone is naturally willing to participate.

I think it is very important to design a set of convenient processes and management methods that can solve problems well.

To sum up, personal pensions are firstly products and secondly services. Whether these details can be done well, I think it is the focus of the implementation of the system.

  Our reporter Li Yunshu