Academic journal article Cross - Cultural Communication

A Research on Legal Institutions of Social Pension Insurance for Chinese Landless Farmers

Academic journal article Cross - Cultural Communication

A Research on Legal Institutions of Social Pension Insurance for Chinese Landless Farmers

Article excerpt


Nowadays in China, enormous explorations have been made towards solving the problems in social pension insurance for landless farmers, producing some revelatory experience. Guided by the general trend of mergence of pension insurance institutions, China is expected to constructthe relevant legal system with its own characteristics by establishing basic principles and setting up the basic law, the specialized law and relevant laws and regulations at different levels.

Key words: Landless farmers; Social pension insurance; Legal institutions


In recent years, enormous explorations in pension insurance for landless farmers in some areas of China have led to three institutional patterns including social pension insurance, commercial pension insurance and a combination of both. It is revealed in the practice of some areas that the adoption of commercial pension insurance is not beneficial for regulating and developing fragile social insurance in the countryside, therefore, the wide implementation of social pension insurance serves as the major force.


Due to the lack of overall and systematic standards for the security of Chinese landless farmers, different patterns are displayed in different areas. In reality, local governments establish pension systems with local characteristics in accordance with their economic development realities (Wu, 2011). Zhejiang, Shanghai and Jiangsu have taken the initiative attempt in establishing landless farmers' social pension insurance policies and achieved some effects by adopting the method of gradual extension from pilot programs. Some experience can be sorted out of their practice which can be shared and revelatory in perfecting the social pension insurance system for landless farmers.

1.1 The Primary Issue: Choosing Proper Institutions for Landless Farmers' Social Pension Insurance

Although Chinese government has made great efforts to promote the reform in pension insurance for state organs and institutions and establish a unified system for them and urban employees, currently we have different systems for urban employees, state organs and institutions, rural residents and migrant workers which, divided and in disorder, lead to fragmentation of the pension security system. (Zheng, 2008) While these fragments can be sorted into urban social pension system and rural social pension system, landless farmers cannot be covered by either of them.

Theoretically, landless farmers no long belong to farmers, therefore it does not make sense for them to rely merely on rural social pension insurance security. Meanwhile, such insurance in China is based on accumulation in personal accounts so it is a luxury for landless farmers who have not enough savings for that. On the other hand, despite their so-called urban identity, they have no full access to urban residents' benefits. In many areas of China, landless farmers have displayed some obviously special characteristics: due to laggard economic development in the rural area, official compensation cannot fulfill the landless farmers' long-term survival, as a result of which they have no stable and reliable channel to make a living and are lacking in basic social security (Liu, 2013). Accordingly, when designing such an overall system, reality should be relied on to establish different institutions in accordance with government's ability in fulfilling insurance obligations and these farmers' age characteristics in order to achieve the interweaving and mergence of rural and urban social pension insurance with different subjects and treatments taken into account at the same time.

1.2 The Key Issue: Solving the Problem of Capital Source

In all the sub-items of China's social pension insurance, capital source is the core which restrains the functioning of these sub-items including social pension insurance for landless farmers. …

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