Tsinghua Professor Defends Her Retirment Pension Reform Plan

Tsinghua University professor Yang Yansui suggests postponing the retirement pension eligibility age to 65.

Tsinghua University professor Yang Yansui suggests postponing the retirement pension eligibility age to 65.

From Sina Weibo:

#Postponing Retirement Age#

On August 12, Tsinghua University’s elderly pension reform scheme came out. The scheme suggests that retirement be postponed step-by-step, starting from 2015 until 2030 when the goal of having male and female employees as well as residents begin collecting their pensions at the age of 65 is achieved. In the upcoming decade, our nation will enter an advanced stage of aging, with more and more severe employment problems for the young. Regarding this, do you support or oppose postponing retirement?

This plan has caused a huge dispute between the Chinese Human Resource Department and Chinese Academy of Social Science as well as heated discussion among netizens. The responses Tsinghua University professor Yang Yansui, one of the principal contributors in developing the plan, gave during a television interview sparked a public outcry.

From Sina:

Public Management College of Tsinghua University professor Yang Yansui said in the 1/7 program: “It’s not postponing the retirement age, it’s postponing the age for when one can collect their retirement pension.” She suggests making 65 the age when people can collect their pensions, that all developed countries are like this. The reporter asked, “If people retire at the age of 50 and get their pensions at 65, then what do they do during those 15 years in between?” The professor said, “men can go to nursing homes and work as gardeners, and women can wash clothes for the elderly.”

Yang Yansui.

“Men between the age of 50 to 65…”

Yang Yansui.

“…can be gardeners at nursing homes.”

Yang Yansui.

“Women between the age of 50 to 65…”

Yang Yansui.

“…can cook and wash clothes for old people.”

From Sina:

Tsinghua University Professor Responds to “Men Can Be Gardeners and Women Can Wash Clothes After Retirement”: That’s Correct.

China Economic Net Beijing September 13 report (reporter Liu Yanji) — There is no doubt that the postponement of retirement and collecting of pension benefits is one of the hottest topics currently. Tsinghua University female professor Yang Yansui is well-known among netizens as a result of being a main participant of the Tsinghua Retirement Postponement Scheme, especially when she relied to “what should people do in the 15 years between retiring at 50 and [being eligible for] collecting their pensions at 65” by saying: “After they retire from manufacturing enterprises, train them to participate in community service. Men can be gardeners at nursing homes and women can wash clothes for old people, how nice that would be!” This stirs even more waves of heated discussion. Netizens comments of “unbelievable” and “my little buddies and I were all stupefied” were constantly heard.

On September 12, while Yang Yansui was being interviewed by media, she still insisted there was nothing wrong about her previous “men can be gardeners and women can wash clothes after retirement” response: “That’s what I said, but only the most eye-catching part was highlighted on the internet. It’s not wrong for people in their 40s to 50s to wash clothes or be gardeners, and asking those in their 50s to 60s to take care of old people in their 70s to 80s, this is simply a necessary result of social transformation.” These words yet again immediately stirred debate among netizens. A netizen felt very speechless: “She is not a professor, she is no less than a Abbess Miejue [a character in the novel The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber, whose name ‘Miejue’ literally means “to destroy and make extinct”.]

A netizen named “皇子拉面” sees professor Yang’s opinion as a result of sitting in the office for too long, “Professor, before you influence other people’s living with your opinion, would you please live as those people who would be influenced by your opinion live?” A netizen of China Economic Net named “情商” also thinks that the professor’s opinion is not practical, “you have gained enough money to live to 65 before you were 50, of course you don’t have to worry about it! But we ordinary people have to work until 65, so how are we supposed to survive?”

Different from the majority of netizens who “complained”, the comment by netizen “周光真” appears to be very constructive: “The biggest problem of professor Yang’s scheme is imperfection. People should be allowed to retire early, only that they can collect part of their pension. I suggest China’s pension implement an incremental method: Get 50% of the pension when people retire at the age of 50; 60% at the age of 60; 70% at the age of 70; 100% at the age of 100.”

Comments from Sina:

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人民领袖毛润之 [上海]:

[I’m] Against the postpone of the retirement age. Please ding me if you support abolishing the dual track pension system [staff of government departments and public institutions get their pensions paid by the state, and staff of private enterprises get their pensions according to a certain standard]!

林中的小鸟1689 [四川自贡]:

[生气][生气][生气]This Yang Yansui person is a beast “without blood” [heartless, cold-blooded]!!! [She’s] Still quibbling — shameless!!!

用户3597896805 [新疆伊犁]:

That Tsinghua University now has such a lousy professor and doesn’t immediately expel her, can it still be called Tsinghua University? [Arguing that the university’s actions make it undeserving of the prestige associated with the name.]

51淘女装 [安徽合肥]:

China is the most populous country in the world and it’s still a developing country! Question No.1: Can the retirement policy which has lasted for 35 years be changed so easily? Question No.2: Why always refer to foreign countries when making policies that hurt people but forget their advanced experience when making policies that benefit people?? Question No.3: That professors have turned “actuarial science” into a “tool to meticulously make calculations with the ordinary common people”, don’t you think it’s very shameless???

手机用户 [广东广州]:

Professor Yang XX, you are worse than pigs and dogs. People wouldn’t even allow you to lick their toes when you retire.

手机用户 [广东珠海]:

I’m bewildered, is she a professor?

手机用户 [广东湛江]:

Let her use herself to set an example! Let her experience it and learn how nao can the idea is!

爱心链 [湖南长沙]:

It’s easier said than done. Let them experience it [living under such a scheme] themselves first and see. [扣鼻屎]

手机用户 [西藏林芝]:

Another dogshit professor.

中国小老百姓 [上海]:

I baidu’d Ms. Yang Yansui’s personal information, excerpts below. I am not responsible for the accuracy of the information about Ms. Yang. Chinese name: 杨燕绥. Nationality: People’s Republic of China. Ethnicity: Hui. Place of birth: Beijing. Year of birth: 1953. Profession: Tsinghua University Employment and Social Security Research Center Director. Graduated from: Inner Mongolia Normal University, University of Ghent in Belgium. Yang Yansui, female, was born in 1953, Doctor of Law from University of Ghent in Belgium, professor of Public Management College of Tsinghua University, doctoral supervisor, director of social policy research institution, director of employment and social security research center. She has successively published 14 treatises and translations and over 100 papers in national publications like “Social Sciences in China”, “Management World”, etc., and is is amongst the well-known figures and authorities in the field of social security. According to Baidu data, Ms. Yang was born in 1953 and is 60 years of age. According to the scheme she proposed, she is already 10 years over the retirement age and has not retired. Likewise, in accordance with her scheme, the should immediately retire and return all of her wages from 2003 to 2013. At the same time, because Yang Yansui has not followed her own scheme in “spending time with the elderly cooking meals, washing clothes and doing some weaving”, and has not done so for as long as 10 years. According to the newest policy, Yang Yansui can be judged as seriously unfilial, and she didn’t do volunteer work as well. Recommend that Ms. Yang Yansui make up all the years of volunteer work she missed, namely Ms. Yang can begin collecting her pension at the age of 75.

719孤舟蓑笠翁 [北京]:

I want to go to Tsinghua University to pull out a banner, recommending Tsinghua University fire this nao can Abbess Miejue animal, [because] this is obviously bringing shame on Tsinghua University!!! Everyone willing to do this together?

719孤舟蓑笠翁 [北京]:

Those who want to curse Yang Yansui’s entire family to death, please click on “support” [upvote]!!

伤心爱国 [北京]:

Yang Yansui, this person has a baby’s face, yet she is much more malevolent and shameless than Meng X [mother of Li Tianyi]. This is a professor who takes the entire nation’s people as fools, a professor who completely disregards the country’s interests. The retirement/elderly problem is extremely urgent, so this person takes advantage of the government’s urgency as well as the famous name of Tsinghua University in recommending a retirement scheme that completely ignores the people’s interests and only considers her own individual interests. Question No.1: Nowadays, the biggest problem is the dual track pension system, but she didn’t mention it at all. Question No.2: The 15-year gap between retirement and the age in which they could begin collecting their pensions would force the salaried class to retire later. It also gives corrupt officials who want to stay in their positions of leadership like her a reason to not retire. Question No.3: The vast salaried class who pay taxes into the basic pension can only get the minimum pension benefits while leaders [government employees], as a result of having a larger base salary and being able to retire later, they get to collect a pension that is many times higher when the time comes. How can you be so shameless! With regard to question No.2, the answer she gave was “if you retire early, it means you have the ability to support yourself, and don’t need to collect retirement pension benefits”. Allow me to ask, how is someone who had to retire because they couldn’t work survive during these 10 years? And just how many people are able to work to 65 years old? This person has proposed even more absurd retirement schemes on television int he past, saying “the elderly have money, the young have strength, so we can have the elderly give money to the young, and thus have the young care for the elderly.” May I ask, if the elderly have money, would they still need her to spout bullshit here? She thinks ordinary people are like her and have already made enough money. This person was born in 1953, will be exactly 60 years old this year, and acts as if the sky will fall if retirement is not postponed. This person is truly anxious to push this policy.

gzwby [广东广州]:

Should human flesh search her, to see if she is the corrupt kind!

刘文鹏jeff [北京]:

The nation gives you funding, to do research, and this is what you’ve come up with? This is utter nonsense, disturbing the country’s stability and unity.

yzxxha [四川成都]:

Auntie [referring to Yang Yansui]: How about you first pay into social security before talking?

手机用户 [天津]:

Professors who don’t know the hardship of the people.

手机用户 [山东济南]:


林中的小鸟1689 [四川自贡]:

A person “without blood” [heartless, cold-blooded]!!!

  • Take5

    Seems in China if you have the titled of Professor you can say any crazy thing you want and expect to be taken seriously. Raping a hostess is ok and at age 50 we can all become gardeners and wash women.

  • markus peg

    Tsinghua Professor: Raping a Hostess is Less Harmful
    Tsinghua Professor: Postpone Retirement Pensions 15 Years “men can go to nursing homes and work as gardeners, and women can wash clothes for the elderly for 15 years”

    Remind me again, why is Tsinghua so reputable in China?

    • mwanafa

      I will remind you “It’s not reputable.”

      • Guang Xiang

        It is reputable in China for the common people. Therefore such a statement by Professor Rape and Professor Slavery is highly effective at swaying the uneducated masses. I got a free cab ride once cause I said I studied in Tsinghua.

        But don’t get me wrong, the students in Tsinghua really are intelligent and know what’s up. Whenever I tell them I’m from the States they ask, why the hell would you pick Tsinghua instead of any American school.

        • Wololoo

          If you want to work in China going to Tsinghua is definitely better than an american university. I generally don’t like the american education system anyway, since the german is way better in the field of engineering. I studied one term at CAL Tech and I was always minimum top 5 in the courses I took, whereas in Germany I am just above average. In China I just started my first term in an international Double Master Program and so far I like it. Although the opportunies for getting experience in industry projects are nearly non-existant, I really like the focus on doing so much research, publishing papers, going to conferences etc. In Germany you would just do this as PHD-student (but you need your masters degree prior doing this and it takes another 5 years to get the PHD).

          • Guang Xiang

            I feel you: studying in Tsinghua is definitely a great supplement for working in China, but I feel it leaves me too pigeonholed. I envy your experiences in Germany, I wouldn’t be able to imagine the usefulness of an Engineering degree from Germany! @@

            I think in Chinese universities, that’s pretty much the only thing the professors want from you: countless papers with their name on it (and I believe they get a big payday per paper published). I just wish the professors were more passionate about their work, instead of just milking their students for all they’re worth. Of course each case is different.

            As for some practical experience, if the program doesn’t offer any, I heard most people go through their professors (aka connections) to find projects or companies they know. Though you’ll also have to prove to them why you’re the exception out of your peers.

            Good luck with your research!!

          • Wololoo

            Yeah, I am using my own connections to work for a german autobobile company in Beijing in the term break. The profesors told us, we are not ready to do an internship, despite having already one half a year in Germany (automobile company as well).

      • Wololoo

        As I said before, social faculties are not strong here and really “patriotic”. The professor would never suggest this thing without higher powers telling her.The technical and science faculties are among the best in asia though (in China of course #1) and allow a lot of freedom in research.

    • Germandude

      Imagine people in China retire when they are 50 and start to think: “That was it?”.

      People shouldn’t start thinking too much, you know…

  • mwanafa

    My prof in a university here in China told me one thing… “If you graduate in (Mainland)China, your alma mater won’t matter if you go work abroad, they are all the same.”
    This statement is worth more than what those Beijing Uni and Tsinghua Uni professors have said so far.

    • mwanafa

      My bad!

      • donscarletti

        ‘Obama’ is a proper noun you philistine, of course it’s invalid.

        • mwanafa

          I think the word “humor/humour” does not exist in your dictionary.
          And “philistine”??? Are you fckin kidding me?
          You obviously didn’t understand the combination of art and humor behind that, all you could see is “This guy don’t know that Obama is a proper noun”. I will explain to you as I explained to my 3 yrs old brother who asked me why I put Obama knowingly that it’s invalid… “Because it is funny and entertaining. ”
          Your inability to understand and interpret art makes you pretty much a philistine.

          • Angie_Mac77

            Maybe he’s a graduate of Tsinghua?

  • mr.wiener

    She really should have stopped while she was behind. If she is right they can always start to look at this after the fuss has died down. If she is wrong she’s just spinning her wheels deeper into the mire.
    Book smart doesn’t mean you are wise.

  • b

    retirement? guess i’m still too young for this shit. and if I must comment on this, i’d say this professor looks very ugly.

  • 5000 years of History

    I am so sick and tired of the excuse “china is a developing country”. When does china become developed? When they have 1000 skyscrapers over 100 stories. A hundred years from now we will still be hearing “oh China is a developing country.”

    • Claude

      Do a little research and you’ll find that there are still 30 Million people living in caves. Get beyond the third ring roads in the cities and it’s still a mess.

      • biggj

        You can’t have a developed country of 1.4 billion people.No matter how advanced china gets, they will never in a 1000 years be considered developed by the definition of “developed country”. China is developed in certain categories, but like bottom of the list in others.

        • Claude

          @biggj @2df63f267b83368fc63c3ba5d08be15e:disqus
          You won’t get an argument out of me. I use the diarrhea criteria. The only other country where I had diarrhea as bad as I had in China is India, so that tells me it’s on par with India in development. Laugh out loud, but not really.

          • biggj

            lol. I agree. The countries I’ve had really bad diarrhea are.

            1: India

            I haven’t looked but I assume these countries are not on the “Highly developed list”. My ass tells me who is developed or not lol.

            In Japan the toilet talked to me in Japanese and strayed water on my asshole….Now that is a developed country. lol

          • Claude

            Ok, now I really am Laughing out loud and rolling on the floor. That and the deodorizer. My ass smelt like a bouquet of flowers.

            I know somewhere in Japan there’s a middle aged homosexual playing with his pud and looking at my anus. Those seats have EVERYTHING.

      • Alphy

        There are several criteria: 1. GDP 2. Per capita income 3. Level of industrialization 4. Standard of living 5. Widespread Infrastructure
        China might meet some of the criteria in some areas, but in average it is still below what western countries consider acceptable levels.

        Personally, if average income in China ever come close to western country, it will be insane to still call China developing.

        • biggj

          And if the average income does get that high….it will be the end of china. No one is going to pay a chinese worker 10 US dollars an hour to work in some factory. When other country will do it for whole lot less. If you kill china’s manufacturing and exporting….well that’s it. That will always keep income low for average china workers…they have to.

          • Alphy

            That’s what they said about Japan, Korea, then Taiwan.

            Industry in a country changes. Company will always go for the bigger profit margin if given the chance. Rather China can successfully migrate into high margin business is then a different story. My guess is, there will be some that are successful like Medical, some electronics, and perhaps alternative energy, through it will be a quite a long time until the entire country move up the chain. There still will be manufacturing, just like how there are still tons of manufacturing in Japan and US, by that time, it will just be different type of labor that is required.

          • biggj

            I agree, but those countries don’t have 1.4 billion people either. It’s makes it 100x harder.You can have teh average wage in Japan be over 10$ an hour…that will never happen in china…the majority of people will have to work for peanuts. India is the same way.

  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    As usual with these kinds of people

    It is so much easier to keep believing your right, retreating further into your reality until the world than to ever admit you were wrong.

    • Ranchero

      It seems to me that’s no one on forums has actually talked about the logistics of the policy. Despite her provocative soundbite and lovely elderly appearance, could this radical policy recommendation be a signal of choppy waters ahead?

      Also, whatever she says will be countered by another academics and then government will just choose the middle road when they decide to address the social security policy.

  • donscarletti

    Retirement at 50, for fuck’s sake, you want a country run like Lord of the Flies?

    Just because the current generation of fifty-somethings is useless for leadership and mentorship doesn’t mean the next one will be.

    Yang Yansui, you’re ugly and you sound like a nasty bitch when you speak, but you’re on to something good here.

  • opa-opa

    I’m kind of confused, why are they talking about “retiring” at age 50? Is it because in China no one will hire you if you’re over 50? In most modern nations people work until they are 65.

    • Cauffiel

      China is not a modern nation.

    • Alphy

      That’s the retirement age in China. Most people are retire about 45-50, that’s why there are so many people that work a different job once they started collecting their retirement.

  • biggj

    So pretty much they just want to change the age to 65….more or less. If you read between he lines thats all she is saying.If you can still legally work at a regular job from 50 to 65…then that is all she is saying….change the retirement to 65. And her way you have an option to stop at 50 and still do some bullshit job no one wants to do for pretty much free. With the one child policy I don’t think china can afford to have people retire at 50.

    In my opinion 50 is way to young. Maybe not in china where the pollution will probably kill you by the time you are 65 anyway. At 50 you can still work with no problems just like everyone else.And say you live to be 80. That 30 years of doing nothing just taking in a check. 65 is getting there….I would say retirement should be between 60-65.You are getting a bit to old to do any labor then….on a regular basis anyway.

    This woman idea is fucked. But changing the age from 50-65 is not that fucked. Just the idea of how she wants to do it is pretty ridiculous.

  • 二奶头发

    Walmart Greeter

  • Guang Xiang

    Why do I feel this is an effective way to add some more red tape to the pension process?

    “Oh, you haven’t worked hard enough as a nanny, no pension for you”

  • Atlus

    Must be nice being an academic in a Chinese university – never being challenged by peers and so on.

    • I’ve never met one who is NOT arrogant nor obnoxious nor without an entitlement mentality, and that is just professors in you know where. Professors in the West can be ALMOST as bad, mind, ALMOST, but it is a very thin line. Brian Flanagan (Tom Cruise) said it best in Cocktail about his professor on his business course at college:

      “This from a guy who hides here because he can’t hack it in the real world. …

      A lot of truth in that perhaps?

      • Claude

        They live in a pretty arcane world don’t they? Here’s an example.


        Yeah, I know. Deconstructing noncommutativity with a giant fuzzy moose. I mean wtf?

        I really do envy them, I wish I was so smart. A lifetime on a nice campus somewhere. A lot of fresh eye candy every year. Intellectual stimulation. It’s like being in the matrix. What amazes me is how incredibly vindictive they are. They tear each other and each others work to pieces with every opportunity over something so arcane that very little of it will find it’s way into mainstream society. Maybe the academics in Asia know something the academics in the west don’t, lighten up and cruise through life because it’s a pretty sweet gig.

  • why does the video autostart again, without me CLICKING anything!! Less is more, don’t like bandwidth eating stuff!!!

  • elizabeth

    Retirement and pensions may be two different things but they go hand in hand (although the case in China seems complicated). When people retire, pension benefits come in to take the place of income, especially for those who have no alternative sources of income such as investments and insurance.

    The purpose of the pension reform is not clear. But by the looks of it, the professor’s recommendation is so that pension benefits are delayed (for whatever reason) while retaining a ‘sweetener’ (retiring at 50) to cushion the potential backlash. Or it could be the unemployment problem facing fresh graduates…

    In doing so, she has shot herself in the foot by creating the 15-year gap. Volunteering is a luxury she could afford but not so for those living from hand to mouth.

    She’d be better off with staged disbursement of benefits as suggested by one Chinese netizen or postponing the retirement age to 6o or 65 as well (in stages). At least, older workers can still be legitimately claim their employment rights instead of being cast aside as useless and only good for lowly ‘volunteer’ work that isn’t even worth a penny in her eyes but becomes free labor for certain people. At best, it is a waste of talents. At worst, it stops short of exploitation.

  • Angie_Mac77

    “Those who want to curse Yang Yansui’s entire family to death, please click on “support” [upvote]!!”

    Wow! I wonder how many upvotes they got. If it was more than 5000, do they go to jail?

  • cloud9

    Tsinghua University,these guys operate in a higher plane.

  • She’s quite lovely – anyone know if she’s single….?

  • The retirement age is 55 for women and 60 for men. So where is this age 50 thing coming from?

    Anyway, in Canada we are free: “Canadian workers don’t come with ‘best before’ dates stamped on their foreheads,” said Mr. David Langtry, Acting Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission.


  • Pingback: Asia & China Healthcare News 9.23.2013 | Health Intel AsiaHealth Intel Asia()

  • Alan Dale Brown

    I think it’s just a matter of math … I can’t see how China can continue to support pensions at age 50. Consider:

    1) Rising life expectancy (as long as pollution doesn’t get worse)
    2) Demographic shift – fewer working age people (due to one-child policy) to support more older people
    3) Rising lifestyle expectations

    In the US, it’s common to hear talk of raising the retirement age to 70; I almost expect it by the time I get there. It’s a mixed blessing; when social security was first formed, most people didn’t live much past 65. Likewise, in China, 35 years ago I bet life expectancy was much closer to 50 than it is now. Perhaps she was a bit callous in how she talked about it, but it’s true: it’s often said that China’s aging population may utterly kill their rise in prosperity.

  • maybeabanana

    Sounds like a social security delay for the money they might not have. She’s kicking the bucket a bit farther on this ponzi scheme.