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Keywords:

  • pension privatisation;
  • individual account;
  • institutional change;
  • welfare reform;
  • Greater China

Shi S-J, Mok K-H. Pension privatisation in Greater China: institutional patterns and policy outcomes

This article examines rationales and processes for pension privatisation in Taiwan, Hong Kong and mainland China since the 1990s. It argues that the configurations of the public/private pension mix in the three cases are related to their respective political-economic development. To achieve the reform of state-owned enterprises and labour markets, mainland China's pension reforms have concentrated on the combination of social pooling and individual accounts. Taiwan's reforms have rectified the Labour Insurance scheme and established individual accounts in order to alleviate enterprises' financial burdens while facilitating labour force mobility. Hong Kong has strengthened its service industry in favour of financial market fluidity, corresponding to a pro-market approach that prefers mandatory provident funds as the major pension scheme for workers. The diversification of pension privatisation manifests manifold institutional changes of old-age security, and raises an essential governance issue for the regulation of funded pension provision to ensure adequate income for older people.