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Pension Reform in China: Five Pillars of Transformation?

Date: 24 Feb 2014




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China’s pension system is facing many challenges. As income disparity increases and the population ages, how can the system be reformed to enhance its equity, efficiency, and financial sustainability?

Since 1990, China’s public pension system has shifted from enterprise-based to locality-pooled programmes and coverage has expanded rapidly. Yet China’s public pension system has several problems: it is fragmented, inequitable and there are serious questions about its long-term financial sustainability.

The Chinese government plans further reforms to its social insurance system to “expand coverage, ensure basic retirement incomes, develop a multi-pillar system and enhance sustainability” (National People’s Congress, 2010). The question is how to devise feasible and operational reform measures to achieve these aims.

In this seminar Professor Xuejin Zuo proposes a five-pillar pension system that would greatly enhance the equity, efficiency, and sustainability of pensions in China. It would ensure adequate retirement incomes for the elderly, and contribute to increases in domestic consumption, stable growth, and the construction of a harmonious society.

The Speaker

Xuejin Zuo is Research Professor at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (SASS), where he was previously Executive Vice President, and the Director of the Institute of Economics at the Academy. He holds an MA in economics from SASS and PhD in economics from the University of Pittsburgh. His research focuses on China’s population economics, social security programme reforms, and urban and regional development studies.

The event is open to the public and free of charge, online registration is required for non-UN badge holders.
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Remote access to the seminar

We will be tweeting key messages live from the seminar and welcome your comments and questions, which, time permitting, we may be able to put directly to the speaker. Follow us on @UNRISD and #UNRISDseminar.

This event will be video and audio recorded. If you would like to be notified when the video and the podcast are online, please send an email with “Audio/video notification” in the subject line to odusote@unrisd.org

Photo by Stanley Zimny via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)