(ECNS) -- China's plan to raise the retirement age will not make it harder for young people to get jobs, but will instead be a "win-win" solution for society and employees, say experts with the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.
The government will increase the retirement age gradually due to many factors, including labor supply and demand and people's education and life expectancy, experts say. In addition, the government will also formulate policies to protect the interests of older people.
Raising the retirement age step by step, for example by increasing it by several months a year, will not have a great impact on the employment market, says Zheng Dongliang, dean of the Institute of Labor Science affiliated with the ministry.
The later retirement age will benefit both society and the private workers, Zheng says, because it will not only increase the labor supply, but also add to people's pensions by extending their work lifespan.
It's highly unlikely that a son will the take same job as his father, as the younger generation moves to work in new sectors, according to Zheng.
But Zheng admits it may become more difficult for older people, especially those with simple skills, to find proper jobs. The government should formulate policies to protect their rights and provide support for them in finding jobs, Zheng says.
More than 60 countries and regions worldwide have increased the retirement age since the 1970s, says Jin Weigang, director of the ministry's Research Institute of Social Security.
Jin disagrees with the use of the word "delay" when talking about the retirement issue, as it contains an implicit meaning. Increasing the age of retirement progressively is a normal public management measure, and should not be misunderstood or contradicted, he says.
Mo Rong, director of the ministry's Institute of International Labor and Social Security, agrees, saying it is an international trend to raise the age of retirement.
Since 1993, 14 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development have made or planned increases in the retirement age for male employees, and 18 have or planned increases in the retirement age for female workers, according to Mo.
In addition, between 2010 and 2050, 11 member countries of the OECD have plans to increase the retirement age. Many developing countries also have such plans in the works.
Jin notes that the average retirement age in China is 54, lower than the international level. An appropriate increase in the retirement age is an inevitable trend considering factors such as the country's labor supply, its aging population and pension insurance fund management.
But Mo says it is not an overnight job to increase the retirement age. "It should be promoted step by step, and with plans," he says. "It cannot be very fast, or too slow."
Mo cited Japan and South Korea as examples. Both countries took about 13 years to increase their retirement ages. The transitional period in the United States lasted even longer.