Thursday, May 27, 2021
A few weeks ago the New York Times ran an article regarding the need for delayed retirement on the part of many Chinese elders. A Graying China May Have to Put Off Retirement. Workers Aren’t Happy, notes that the "Chinese government said it would raise the mandatory retirement age, which is currently 60 for men." Why, you ask, did China announce this unpopular plan? Because, according to the article, this phased-in "delay [of] the legal retirement age” over the next five years, [is] an attempt to address one of the country’s most pressing issues. Its rapidly aging population means a shrinking labor force. State pension funds are at risk of running out. And China has some of the lowest retirement ages in the world: 50 for blue-collar female workers, 55 for white-collar female workers, and 60 for most men." The article notes other countries that have taken a similar approach and the bumpy road in doing so. It also notes that this was a problem decades in the making. There are ramifications of this approach (beyond unhappy workers), including "[the risk of] undermining another major government priority: encouraging couples to have more children, to slow the aging of the population."