China will release a plan on raising the retirement age this year to cope with pressures from a shrinking work force and an aging society, an official said on Feb 29.
The official retirement age, which was adopted six decades ago when life expectancy was much lower, has not adapted to economic and social development, said Yin Weimin, minister of human resources and social security, at a press conference.
China’s retirement age is 60 for men, 55 for female white-collar workers and 50 for female blue-collar employees.
The retirement ages in developed countries mostly range from 60 to 65, and even older in some countries, said Yin, adding it has been common practice to raise the retirement age worldwide.
“We’ve already worked out a plan to postpone the retirement age, but it should be approved by the authorities before being released to solicit public opinion,” he said.
The policy changes in retirement age will be phased in over a long period of time, with only slight annual increases, Yin said, adding the adjustment will take into consideration different groups of workers.
China is facing great challenges in dealing with a soaring senior population. The number of people aged 60 or over reached 212 million last year, accounting for 16 percent of the country’s population.