China Poll: Retirement Age

By Tang Xiangyang
Published: 2010-09-15

Last week, the State Council Information Office released China's Human Resources, a white paper that outlines the future direction of policies in relation to managing the country's vast labor force. In one section of the document, experts predict that due to an ageing population, by 2035, there will be two working-age taxpayers for every retiree in China.

The potential strain that an aging population might put on the Chinese economy has led the Chinese government to once again consider whether it should lift the official retirement age.

Currently, all male workers are supposed to retire at 60, while female officials should stop working at 55 and other female employees at 50.

As much of the media coverage related to the white paper's release focused on the potential lifting of the retirement age, popular web portal Tencent, or QQ as it's better known, conducted an online poll asking web users: "Do you support the raising of the retirement age?"

The poll attracted more than 900,000 respondents, among whom 887,164 people (91%) said they were opposed to lifting the retirement age, while only 84,247 (9%) said they supported the move.

The Modern Express conducted a similar opinion poll yesterday. As of 8pm yesterday, 82% of the 1,344 web users who took part in the Modern Express poll said they were opposed to lifting the retirement age.

The Henan Business Herald Online identified the following professions as likely beneficiaries of any decision to raise the official retirment age: civil servants (especially those who can receive pensions without being obliged to make old-age insurance payments) and high-level executives of state-owned enterprises who might obtain higher salary and better material benefits if they were to stay at their posts longer.

An additional survey on the same topic can be found on out Chinese-language sister site.

State Council Information Office: Full English Text of White Paper
QQ News: 退休年龄应该被推迟吗? (Chinese)
Modern Express: 八成网友反对推迟退休 担心影响年轻人就业 (Chinese)
Henan Business Herald Online: 网友激辩退休年龄延迟超6成反对 称加重年轻人压力 (Chinese)
Economic Observer Online: 早退休还是晚退休? (Chinese)