Xinhua (December 14) published an article addressing key public concerns about an upcoming rise in the retirement age. It recalled that raising the retirement age was explicitly mentioned in the Party's recommendations for the 14th Five-Year Plan. It said according to Zheng Bingwen, Director at the Center for International Social Security Studies under the state-backed Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the rollout of the new policy is imminent. Xinhua said “The Party’s recommendations to the 14th Five-Year Plan emphasised implementation” adding that “raising the statutory retirement age is the irreversible trend.” Since the Fifth Plenum in October, state media and policy advisors have been arguing for raising the retirement age from 55.

(Comments: The original plan was to solicit public comments on the policy in 2017 and start implementation in 2021, but the policy draft was never made public. There is popular opposition to this move.)

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