Academics and policymakers disagree on whether the current enterprise pension level has risen to a market rate, says Caixin.

After over a decade of double-digit growth, the average enterprise pension rate, at 2,200 per month, has reached a reasonable level, argues Sun Jie 孙洁 University of International Business and Economics professor. But the elderly spend money on both regular necessities and medical services, says Xie Qiong 谢琼 Beijing Normal University professor, both of which should be covered by their pension.

The enterprise pension adjustment is aimed at reducing the gap between the pension levels for service agency and private enterprise workers, says Jin Weigang 金维刚 Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security research institute for social security director. While the enterprise pension, provided by the state, is less than 60 percent of the employee’s average monthly salary, the service agency pension, provided by the agencies, is close to 80 percent of the employee’s average salary, says Caixin. In addition, many service agencies provide enterprise annuities to their employees, whereas few private enterprises do, it says.

Pension demand will peak between 2030 and 2050, says Sun, for which the government should prepare by lowering the current pension rate. Experts should develop a pension growth model that sets a mechanism for pension adjustments based on changes in general price indexes and salary levels, says Zheng Gongcheng 郑功成 China Social Insurance Association director.