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Sustainability 2015, 7(2), 1355-1369; doi:10.3390/su7021355

Gender and Public Pensions in China: Do Pensions Reduce the Gender Gap in Compensation?

1
Centre for Social Security Studies, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
2
Pension Policy Center, Washington, DC 20016, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Helmut Haberl
Received: 30 October 2014 / Revised: 9 December 2014 / Accepted: 14 January 2015 / Published: 27 January 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Social Ecology and Sustainability)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [838 KB, uploaded 24 February 2015]   |  

Abstract

This paper analyzes gender issues with respect to public pensions in China. Because provision of public pensions in China is highly fragmented, with different programs applying to different groups of people, we focus on the largest mandatory public pension program in urban China, the Urban Employees’ Pension Program. The paper uses data from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) for 2011 to empirically analyze the causes of gender differences in benefit levels between men and women. We argue that raising the retirement age for women from its current age for most women of 50 would be a major step toward gender equality in public pension benefits. Women would have higher benefits than currently due to having longer working careers, and they may have higher wages as a result of their longer careers. They would also have higher benefits from the individual accounts pensions due to more years of contributions and investment earnings, and a more generous benefit conversion factor due to the older age when they started receiving benefits. Nonetheless, an important feature of the Chinese public pension system is that the gender gap in benefits is less than the gender gap in earnings. In many countries, the reverse is the situation, in part because women have fewer years of work, as well as lower earnings, than men. We explore reasons why the gender pension gap in China reduces the gender gap in compensation. View Full-Text
Keywords: public pension program; old-age benefit; gender; pension gap; China public pension program; old-age benefit; gender; pension gap; China
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Chen, T.; Turner, J.A. Gender and Public Pensions in China: Do Pensions Reduce the Gender Gap in Compensation? Sustainability 2015, 7, 1355-1369.

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