Zheng Bingwen, Academy of Social Sciences

In the “14th five year plan”, important requirements and measures are put forward to improve people’s livelihood and quality of life. For example, in terms of pension, it will actively respond to the national strategy of population aging, promote the long-term balanced development of the population, and improve the basic pension service system; in terms of social security, it will improve the multi-level coverage of the whole people, urban and rural planning, fairness, unity and sustainability Social security system. What is a multi-level social security system? Is social security ready to step into a “silver society”? In terms of population policy, should we “let go of three children”? What are the shortcomings of livelihood security? Recently, the reporter interviewed Zheng Bingwen, director of the world social security center, Chinese Academy of social sciences. Zheng Bingwen said that the “14th five year plan” will raise the response to population aging from “action” to “national strategy”, which shows that the pressure of population aging in this period is much greater than that in the 13th five year plan. He suggested that during the “14th five year plan” period, three children should be released first, and then fertility should be gradually released in due course. We can take measures such as extending maternity leave to enhance the fertility intention of couples of childbearing age and stabilize the birth rate. Zheng Bingwen also mentioned in an exclusive interview that China has built the largest social security system in the world from the perspective of population coverage. However, the shortcomings of livelihood security are still obvious, which needs to be improved from the supply side structural reform. < p > < p > ZHENG Bingwen: “the 14th five year plan” has made clear such an important concept: China has built the largest social security system in the world, and has given two data, basic medical coverage of more than 1.3 billion people and basic endowment insurance covering nearly one billion people. Obviously, this concept is the largest in the world from the perspective of population coverage, but we still have a big gap in terms of expenditure scale. Reporter: the main objectives of the 14th five year plan are clear, and the multi-level social security system is more sound. How to understand the “multi-level” here? What kind of perfect security will it bring to people’s life? Zheng Bingwen: one of the main objectives of the 14th five year plan is to establish a multi-level social security system to make it more sound. The understanding of “multi-level” is almost the same in the world. Whether it is endowment insurance or medical insurance; whether it is unemployment insurance or industrial injury insurance, it should be multi-level. In the multi-level social security system, the first level is to provide a basic and comprehensive system by the state. China has done a good job in this respect. It is composed of three parts, namely basic medical insurance, serious illness insurance and medical assistance. It has “triple security function”, which respectively embodies the basic, inclusive and comprehensive functions. < / P > < p > the second level is to provide supplementary insurance system by enterprises, which we have not done well enough. Because we started late, the earliest is the enterprise annuity in 2004, which is the enterprise supplementary insurance. Although the enterprise supplementary medical insurance has started for more than ten years, its coverage is very small. From the perspective of industrial injury insurance and maternity insurance, there is a big gap compared with some developed countries. < / P > < p > the third level is the commercial insurance products and investment products supported by tax policies in medical care, pension and other aspects purchased by individuals. The proportion of these in China’s GDP is very low, almost negligible, because it started only the year before last, and various policies are being improved. At the same time, there are also problems in the third level system design, which needs to be further improved. Therefore, the “14th five year plan” proposes to vigorously develop a multi-level social security system. What we usually call “multi-level” mainly refers to these three levels. In fact, in some developed countries, the “multi-level” also includes housing reverse mortgage endowment insurance, financial derivatives arranged by individuals and families themselves, as the most advanced design of security system. Reporter: the 14th five year plan mentions the implementation of the national strategy to actively respond to the aging population. Is social security ready to step into a “silver society”? Zheng Bingwen: on the issue of aging, there is a very new and higher standing formulation in the “14th five year plan”, which is called the implementation of the national strategy to actively respond to the aging population, which is different from the previous proposal to deal with the aging problem. The 13th five year plan is to actively carry out actions to deal with the aging population. This time, it is raised to the perspective of national strategy, which shows that the pressure of population aging during the 14th five year plan is much greater than that of the 13th five year plan. During the 14th Five Year Plan period, the trend of population aging will break through two major barriers. The first is that the proportion of the elderly aged 60 and above in the total population will exceed 300 million by the end of the 14th five year plan, reaching 303 million, compared with 253 million last year. The second is that the working population aged 16-59 will decrease by 10 million every year from 2023, and the average annual average of 5 million during the 13th Five Year Plan period means that the tax base and fee base will be reduced. Zheng Bingwen: the operation cycle of the pension system has been for decades, so we should take precautions and do a good job in top-level design. China’s pension source is pay as you go, that is to say, the working generation pays to support the retired generation. Due to the aging of the population, the population structure has been reversed. With more and more elderly people and less and less working population, the money collected will naturally be less and less, and more and more money will be spent, which forms a gap. Compared with the past, there is obviously a “retrograde” change, resulting in a “deficit”. < / P > < p > due to the implementation of pay as you go system, there are only some “gaps” in the annual pension payment. If financial subsidies are used or resources other than the social security system are used to subsidize, the gap in the current period of subsidy will not be a problem and will not affect the pension payment. But in the long run, the accumulated data will be astronomical data. From the perspective of research, especially for policy makers, we should carry out reform as soon as possible, absorb some good practices of developed countries and make some plans. Zheng Bingwen: “the words” equality “and” equality “appear many times in the 14th five year plan, which mainly refers to the equalization of public services, which is an important indicator of social equity. All countries are pursuing equalization of public services. But as an endowment insurance system, it reflects more fairness. < / P > < p > here, “fairness” means that more is paid, more is paid long, less is less, and no payment is allowed. As an endowment insurance system, the first thing to talk about is the correlation between rights and interests and payment. It is different from the meaning of “equalization” pursued by public services. For the endowment insurance system, fairness is reflected in the fact that everyone should be consistent from the starting point. There should be no exclusion in the system. It should not be divided into several grades according to the population. Otherwise, it will be unfair. This is the reason why the pension system has been “merged” in recent years. < / P > < p > the pension “merger” reform started in 2014 and has been implemented for six years. At present, it works well, but this does not mean that there are no problems after the “merger”. With the deepening of the reform and the operation of the system, we will gradually find some problems. If not solved, there will be some unfair phenomena hidden behind the system. < / P > < p > even now, there are two parts in our basic endowment insurance system and basic medical system. One is the rural sector system, and the other is the urban sector system. The former is called urban and rural residential insurance, and the latter is called urban occupational insurance. There are differences between the two systems. For this problem, with the continuous improvement of urbanization, to gradually improve and solve. Reporter: according to your observation, what is the implementation effect of the “comprehensive two child” policy? Do you think it is necessary to “let go of the three children”? How to make efforts in social security to make couples of the right age “live at ease”? Zheng Bingwen: population development strategy is studied together with the response to aging. Some people call the aging of the population as the aging of fewer children. These two population phenomena often occur in one country at the same time. The original meaning of aging is that the life expectancy of the population is increased, and the number of children with fewer children is more prominent, the decline of birth rate and the sharp decrease of birth population. In some countries, the performance is more prominent is the increase of life expectancy, but the performance of minority is not obvious. < p > < p > in our country, the number of children and aging appear at the same time, so the aging of few children is often combined. The population development strategy should not only deal with aging, but also solve the problem of fewer children, which is the main reason for the full liberalization of the two child policy in 2016. < / P > < p > the four-year data show that the birth rate has not increased, but decreased. 2019 is the fourth year of the implementation of the two child policy, and the number of births in the whole year has dropped to a new low. Therefore, during the period of the “14th five year plan”, we should first let go of three children, and then we should gradually and fully liberalize childbearing. There are many reasons for the decline of fertility intention of couples of childbearing age, but the rising cost of support is an important factor. In particular, before the nine-year compulsory education in primary and secondary schools, the cost of preschool education for 3-6 years old is increasing year by year. “It is difficult and expensive to enter the kindergarten” has become another big mountain that seriously affects the fertility intention. Therefore, I suggest that the pre-school education system should implement the inclusive price system in the whole country as soon as possible. In addition, the state can also take measures such as extending the maternity leave of young couples to enhance the childbearing willingness of couples of childbearing age and stabilize the birth rate. Reporter: the 14th five year plan also points out that China’s unbalanced and inadequate development is still prominent, such as the short board of people’s livelihood security. What are the specific representations of the “short board” mentioned here and how to solve them? < p > < p > ZHENG Bingwen: the shortcomings of people’s livelihood security are obvious. The social insurance system and social assistance system in people’s livelihood security, one is a payment system, the other is a non payment system, which needs to be strengthened in the supply side structural reform. For example, in terms of medical insurance, our medical catalogue of special diseases needs to be updated; the proportion of self payment in medical and health expenditure is still too high, so as to prevent the phenomenon of poverty caused by illness and poverty due to illness. Of course, it is impossible to improve the reimbursement rate by one system, which needs to be solved by establishing a multi-level social security system. In addition, in the release in February this year, it is proposed that the social security system should be constructed from four levels. The fourth level includes charity and network mutual aid, which can alleviate poverty caused by illness. We should let this system develop healthily and prevent risks at the same time, but the supervision of network mutual aid platform is not enough. In terms of non payment system, the most important system in China is the minimum security. In the survey, some of the minimum living security policy “landing” is out of shape, there is a gap with the system design, and some problems such as nepotism in reality need to be supervised. In addition, there are also the minimum wage system, old age pension allowance, disability insurance fund, etc. we need to study how to link these livelihood systems together and solve the “short board” problems in livelihood security.