China plans to raise pension age to 65 years
Beijing: Chinese experts have proposed raising the pension age to 65 to ease the financial burden on the government, as the ageing population increased dramatically in the world's most populous nation.
The new scheme suggests that the initial pension age for both men and women should be raised to 65 from the current retirement age of 60 for men and 50 for women.
The age of 65 was chosen based on the pace of ageing in China but could be adjusted for labourers undertaking especially arduous work, Yang Yansui, an expert from Tsinghua University said.
China will become a "super ageing society" by 2035, which means every two workers will need to support one elderly person, she was quoted as saying by the People's Daily.
"We should promote pension reform to prepare for a heavy financial burden," Yang said, adding that raising the pension age does not imply an adjustment of the retirement age.
"The initial pension age and the retirement age are two different things. People can decide to quit work before getting old-age pensions as long as they have made their contributions as required," Yang said.
The scheme, drafted by experts from Tsinghua University, was unveiled on August 12 to solicit feedback from the public, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
According to last year's report by the China Development Research Foundation, China had about 185 million people above the age of 60, or 13.7 percent of the population, as of the end of last year.
The figure is expected to surge to 221 million in 2015, including 51 million "empty nesters" or elderly people whose children no longer live with them, which makes it incumbent on the part government to improve their social security management involving large amount of funds.