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China weighs social security law for foreign workers

(People's Daily)

17:12, October 26, 2011

Edited and translated by People's Daily Online

Recently, China officially implemented the Interim Measures for Social Insurance System Coverage of Foreigners Working within the Territory of China. According to the statistics by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of China (MHRSS), the number of only the foreigners holding Foreigner Employment Certificate working in China surpassed 230,000 by the end of 2010.

Some organizations and foreign people said that many foreigners working in China have paid their insurance premiums according to laws of their own countries or voluntarily, and if China also requires these workers to pay the insurance premium, it means they have to pay it twice.

An official from the MHRSS explained that, in order to give foreign workers the same treatment as citizens, guarantee their social insurance rights and interests practically and avoid the situation of foreign enterprises and workers paying the insurance premium twice, the normal international practice is to carry out a bilateral or multilateral negotiation and solve the problem by signing a governmental social insurance agreement covering mutual exemption.

In as early as 2001 and 2003, the Chinese government had signed mutual social insurance agreements with Germany and South Korea, setting relevant provisions regarding exemptions of certain social insurance premiums for the workers working in each country. Other countries, such as Japan, Belgium and France, have proposed suggestions of solving the issue for workers by negotiating and signing a bilateral social insurance agreement. China's attitude towards the suggestion is quite positive and China is preparing and arranging mutual social insurance premium exemption negotiations with these countries to solve the double-paying issue properly.

Certain foreign workers are worried that it may be difficult to draw their pensions as different countries have different rules on the age of retirement, and most of them will leave China before retirement. However, a relevant official from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security explained that according to the Social Security Law and the provisional rules on foreign workers paying the social security tax in China, foreign workers who meet China's requirements for receiving pension payments will be entitled to pension benefits in accordance with Chinese law.

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Leave your comment3 comments

  1. Name

aifade at 2011-10-31202.136.215.*
There is also "unemployment insurance". However, current law impedes foreigners to be legally in the country without a job. Is this going to change as well?
Ed at 2011-10-2758.32.24.*
This is nonsense. Almost no foreign worker will ever see a kuai of benefits because Chinese visa and rsidency practices preclude most from retiring in China. No one knows the "laws" or process of getting refunds and God forbid anyone tries to get a Chinese pension paid to them when they have left China and retire in their home country. A braucratic bungling indeed.
Gerard at 2011-10-26123.131.134.*
As a foreigner I think this is a good thing. I was told that I am covered by the medical aid at an English School that I worked for. When I was sick I had to pay all the medical expenses out of my own pocket and when I asked for the money back from the school I was told that their medical aid only covers certain things. The schools are basically telling the foreigners that they have medical aid for them as part of an attractive package to get them here. They lie. The goverment will now force the schools to take better care of the foreigners by forcing them to pay for the foreigners to be on the Social Security.

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