How to delay retirement (policy interpretation)

  The "14th Five-Year Plan" and the 2035 long-term goal outline clearly stated that the statutory retirement age should be gradually delayed in accordance with the principles of small-step adjustment, flexible implementation, classified promotion, and overall planning.

  Why delay the statutory retirement age?

How to understand these principles?

The reporter interviewed Jin Weigang, president of the Chinese Academy of Labor and Social Security Sciences of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

  Delaying retirement is conducive to actively responding to an aging population

  Jin Weigang said that the "14th Five-Year Plan" and the 2035 long-term goal outline clearly pointed out that the delay in the legal retirement age is mainly based on four considerations, namely, the increase in average life expectancy, the accelerated trend of population aging, the increase in years of education, and the structure of the labor force. Variety.

  The average life expectancy in my country has increased from about 40 years at the beginning of New China to 77.3 years in 2019, and the average life expectancy of urban residents directly related to the retirement age has exceeded 80 years.

In contrast, after the statutory retirement age of employees in my country was determined in 1951, it has not been adjusted for 70 years.

Therefore, it is necessary to make appropriate adjustments to the retirement age system based on the increase in average life expectancy so that the two can be scientifically matched.

  At the end of 2019, my country's population of 60 years and over accounted for 18.1% of the total population. It is expected that the elderly population will exceed 300 million during the "14th Five-Year Plan" period.

In the context of the accelerated population aging trend, if the retirement age is not adjusted, it means that fewer and fewer people are working and more and more people are retiring. The impact on the economy and society is obvious.

  Judging from the general increase in years of education, more than half of the newly added labor force have received higher education. The average number of years of education for laborers has reached 13.7 years, and the age at which they start working continues to be pushed back.

When the retirement age remains the same, the shortened average working years leads to waste of human resources and lower utilization of human capital, especially in units and industries where highly educated personnel such as universities and scientific research institutions are concentrated.

  The number of working-age population in my country has been declining since 2012, with an average annual decrease of more than 3 million people, and the rate of decrease is increasing.

If the retirement policy is delayed in a timely and appropriate manner, and the increasingly large-scale human resources of the elderly are developed and utilized, the labor participation rate will be increased to a certain extent, and the allocation of capital and labor will be improved.

  During the "14th Five-Year Plan" period, my country's population aging is about to change from mild to moderate aging. This historic change will definitely have a major and profound impact on many aspects of my country's economy and society.

Therefore, we must adhere to the system concept, carry out forward-looking thinking, overall planning, and strategic layout from a higher level to achieve early response, scientific response, and comprehensive response to achieve coordinated economic and social development.

  The pace of reform is generally flat, and individuals have their own choices

  The outline proposes to adhere to the principle of small-step adjustment and flexible implementation. How do you understand it?

  King Weigang analyzed that small-step adjustments. The simple understanding is that the postponement of retirement reform will not be "one step in place", but will adopt gradual reforms and implement them gradually in a smaller scale, with a delay of several months every year or one month every few months , The rhythm is generally gentle.

  In the early stage of the reform, people who are about to retire will only be delayed by a month or a few months, and the impact on their work and life will not be too great.

For younger workers, although the extent of the extension is larger, the time before retirement is longer. It is a matter of 10 or 20 years. At that time, the social environment, standard of living, and people’s health and mental state will all be affected. Many changes have occurred, and individuals have more time to adjust and adapt.

  Flexible implementation means that delayed retirement will not be "one size fits all". It is not a requirement that everyone must reach the delayed statutory retirement age before they can retire, but to increase the space for individuals to choose early retirement.

This is also the biggest and most important feature of delayed retirement reform.

  Objectively speaking, there are big differences in terms of the employment stability and work intensity of different occupational groups and different positions, or in terms of personal physical conditions, family needs and value pursuits, and the resulting demands are different. .

Delaying retirement reform should fully consider this diversified demand.

On the basis of unified implementation, combined with our country’s actual national conditions, cultural traditions, and historical evolution, we will increase flexibility factors, allowing individuals to choose a specific time for early retirement based on their own circumstances and conditions, which fully reflects the flexibility and inclusiveness of the reform.

  Different groups continue to maintain differences in retirement age, and supporting policies and safeguard measures need to be promoted in concert

  The outline proposes to adhere to the principles of classified advancement, overall planning and all-round consideration. How to understand?

  Jin Weigang believes that the promotion of classification means that the delay of retirement does not "go in step", but should be smoothly integrated with the current retirement policy.

The current legal retirement age in my country is 60 for male employees, 55 for female cadres, and 50 for female workers. The policies are different.

The implementation of the delayed retirement reform will distinguish between different groups, adopt an appropriate pace, steadily advance, and gradually get in place.

Regarding the existing policy differences in different occupations, regions, and positions, policy continuity will be maintained after the reform to ensure an orderly connection before and after policy adjustments and a smooth transition.

  Overall planning, that is, delaying retirement cannot "advance alone."

The retirement age issue involves all aspects of the economy and society. Therefore, the postponement of retirement reform is a systematic project. There are many supporting and guarantee policies and measures related to it, which require overall planning and coordinated advancement.

On the one hand, some policies related to the retirement age in the past must be adjusted accordingly with the delay in retirement; on the other hand, the delayed retirement reform will also bring some new opportunities, problems and challenges, and corresponding supporting measures need to be followed up in time. .

  For example, how to use more targeted skills training, employment assistance and other measures to promote the employment and entrepreneurship of older workers; how to give more social security subsidies to eligible persons with employment difficulties, especially those with flexible employment, to help them re-employ, etc. .

Our reporter Li Xinping

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