Hainan cuts pensions for 45,000 retirees who missed qualification deadline
South China's Hainan Province began to suspend pensions to some 45,000 retirees who had not completed the forms to qualify as of December 1, a move to prevent people from drawing pensions illegally, an official with the provincial Social Insurance Bureau told the Global Times on Wednesday.
Li Jianhong, a director at the bureau, told the Global Times that Hainan has carried out similar measure to suspend pensions to some retirees before, but the number was larger this time.
Between June and September, most of the 550,000 retirees in the island province had completed the forms to draw their pensions, and only 45,317 had failed to complete the qualification process, according to the report on the Hainan Daily.
But some questioned the reason for the suspension, which could mean huge trouble for some older people for whom the pension is their only financial support.
Li said the suspension would help prevent the illegal drawing of pensions, and encourage seniors to complete the forms in time.
He added that the province found it difficult to examine applicants and prove who are really qualified for the pensions, because of a lack of funds, personnel and venues.
The phenomenon of dead people still drawing pensions and some people faking documents to draw pensions is common across the country. The qualification process is intended to show the recipient still lives.
But Yang Yansui, a professor of public administration at Tsinghua University, said the bureau, as a government body, shouldn't stop payments just to hit their work targets
Yang told the Global Times that it is understandable that the province reluctantly resorted to suspending pensions due to a faulty national system.
"The country should carry out a thorough reform of the administrative system so that each citizen should have only one social insurance number, one card and one account that remains consistent across the country," Yang said.
A man who retired in 1987 from a forestry company in Chengmai county, for example, had registered for retirement in two different places and had received pensions from both the county and the provincial social insurance authorities, Li said.
As of September, the province discovered 926 people had illegally drawn about 3.94 million yuan ($650,000) in pensions, the Hainan Daily reported.
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