Pension issues with Chinese characteristics

This policy memorandum from the Paulson Institute describes the current state of the Chinese pension system and offers some suggestions to address a range of issues.

The author, veteran academic and policy wonk Robert Pozen, discusses the key challenges facing the Chinese pension system, examines the causes of each of these challenges and puts forward proposals to address them. The paper focuses primarily on one of the four subsystems that constitute the sprawling Chinese pension system, the Urban Enterprise Pension System, which covers urban workers who are mainly employees of large private and state-owned enterprises.

The problems China faces in providing for its elderly are not entirely different from those in the developed world – ageing populations, increased life expectancy and insufficient funding. However, there are some doozies that have uniquely Chinese characteristics, such as the one-child policy, the mobility-hobbling household registration system and the pension system’s administrative and geographical fragmentation.

The refreshing take of this offering is that, unlike the noisy partisan nature of pension fund discourse in the real world, it comes up with sensible, well considered solutions to the extraordinarily complex issue of caring for our families. Take the time to read Tackling the Chinese pension system.