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Ex PBOC Chief Admits Deficiency of China’s Pension System

The former Governor of the People’s Bank of China, Zhou Xiaochuan, has acknowledged that China’s current pension system is facing challenges due to the country’s large and aging population. Zhou made these comments at the “5th Global Wealth Management Forum” hosted by Caijing Magazine on the 25th. According to Zhou, the expansion of the pension coverage in China has created a shortage of funds, making it difficult for the national pension arrangement to provide adequate coverage. He suggested that, in the future, personal pensions will play a crucial role in supplementing the national pension arrangement.

Zhou stated that China’s personal pension system is good in terms of social discussion, but the incentives are weak. The existing personal income tax has some flaws, as a large proportion of individuals in China do not fall within the scope of paying a personal income tax. Furthermore, Chinese enterprises are not anxious to cooperate with the personal pension system due to the high cost burden. This affects their competitiveness. Although the social security funds paid by Chinese enterprises have been adjusted down by 4 percentage points, at 16 percent, the rate of payment is still high, compared to the world.

Regarding the extension of the retirement age, Zhou believes that while there is room to extend the retirement age, it cannot be extended as many years as desired. This involves the average health level and productivity of the elderly, and companies must also take into account the costs involved.

Source: Central News Agency (Taiwan), February 26, 2023