March 30, 2011

CHINA: Most agree on single retirement age for men, women

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BEIJING / The People's Daily / Society / March 30, 2011

A report on the retirement age issue released by the Women's Studies Institute of the All-China Women's Federation shows that more than 58 percent of respondents agree that male and female workers should have the same retirement age, including 69 percent of female cadres, nearly 61 percent of female technical workers, more than 48 percent of female workers and nearly 53 percent of males.

Tan Lin, head of the Women's Studies Institute of China and director of the third Survey of Chinese Women's Social Status Leadership Office, presides over the conference. [Zhang Jiamin / Women of China]

The report also shows that an average of nearly 67 percent of respondents agree male and female cadres should have the same retirement age, including nearly 75 percent of female cadres, nearly 71 percent of female technical workers, more than 56 percent of female workers and nearly 63 percent of males.

The approval rating of such a policy in all groups exceeded 50 percent and the approval rating of female cadres and female technical workers even exceeded 70 percent. The overall approval degree is relatively high.

The report also noted several negative effects of the existing differentiated retirement age policy. First, from the perspective of female workers, an unequal retirement age can affect their right to education. The more time and money they spend on pursuing studies, the less time they may have to work and the less their total career income is likely to be.

Second, from the perspective of employers, the mandatory policy can dampen females' enthusiasm and creativity in work, thereby impairing their work efficiency and causing employers to invest less in the on-the-job training for female workers. Third, the policy can result in a serious waste of female talent and hamper the development of the national talent strategy.

The report was compiled by a joint retirement age research team consisting of researchers from the Women's Studies Institute of China as well as the women's studies institutes of Heilongjiang, Jiangsu, and Sichuan provinces. A total of 4,500 survey questionnaires were distributed in Heilongjiang, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, and Sichuan provinces, and 4,188 valid questionnaires were collected, representing a response rate of more than 93 percent.

Copyright by People's Daily