International Law

Foreign Nationals Must Participate in China’s Social Security System


The Interim Measures for the Participation in Social Security of Foreigners Employed in China (Draft for Comments)在中国境内就业的外国人参加社会保险暂行办法(征求意见稿), drafted by Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security were released to public for solicitation of opinions and comments from the community. The draft measures further detail Article 97 of the Social Security Law of the People's Republic of China华人民共和国社会保险法 and clarify the general inclusion of foreigners within China's statutory social security scheme.

  • The draft rules are applicable to foreigners (including residents of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) lawfully working in China and holding appropriate work permits (i.e. work permit, foreign expert permit, permits for foreign journalist). They may locally employed or employed overseas and on secondment to work in China.
  • The contributions would be made towards a pension as well as medical, work-related injury, unemployment and maternity insurance schemes in China.
  • If foreigners leave China before the mandated date for drawing pensions, their accounts can either be maintained, as they may return to work in China, or terminated. If terminated, the amount accumulated in the account may be withdrawn in a lump sum upon approval by the relevant authority. An insured foreigner could apply in writing to withdraw his or her individually deposited funds. If the insured passes away, the balance of his or her personal account can be inherited.
  • Foreigners working in China who are nationals of countries where China has concluded a multilateral agreement will follow the provisions of the agreement. Currently, only Germany and South Korean have signed agreements with China.

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