The Provisional Measures on Social Insurance for Foreigners
Working in China (the "Provisional
Measures ") were issued on September 6, 2011 by the
Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and will come into
effect on October 15, 2011. The Provisional Measures provide more
specific rules on the requirement that foreigners working in
mainland China should participate in the PRC social insurance
scheme as stipulated in the PRC Social Insurance Law (promulgated
on August 28, 2010, and came into effect on July 1, 2011). The
Provisional Measures serve as a supplement to the provisions of the
PRC Social Insurance Law.
1. Where an employer registered in the PRC hires a
foreigner, both the employer and the foreigner are obligated to
contribute to basic pension insurance, basic medical insurance,
work-related injury insurance, unemployment insurance and maternity
leave insurance (the "Required Contributions").
2. Where a foreigner enters into an employment contract
with an overseas employer and is seconded to work in a branch or
representative office registered in China (the "Domestic PRC
Office"), the foreigner must also participate in the Required
Contributions, and the Domestic PRC Office and the foreigner must
pay insurance contributions in accordance with PRC law.
3. Where an entity registered in the PRC hires a foreigner,
or accepts a foreigner seconded by his/her overseas employer, the
entity registered in the PRC shall handle the social insurance
registration for the foreigner within 30 days of obtaining a work
4. As to a foreigner who participates in the PRC social
insurance scheme, if he/she meets the required conditions, he/she
will be entitled to social insurance benefits in accordance with
5. Where a foreigner departs China before reaching the age
eligible for receiving pension payments, his/her social insurance
account will be kept, and his/her contribution years will continue
to accumulate once the foreigner comes back to work in China in the
future. Alternatively, if the foreigner applies in writing to
end his/her social insurance, the balance of his/her social
insurance account may be paid to him/her in a lump sum.
6. Upon death, the balance of a foreigner's social
insurance account may be inherited.
7. A foreigner who receives monthly PRC social insurance
benefits while outside China must submit a Certificate of Life to
the social insurance agency that is responsible for paying him/her
social insurance benefits. This Certificate of Life must be
submitted at least once a year, and needs to be issued by a PRC
embassy or consulate, or notarized and certified by relevant
authorities in the country where he/she resides and certified by a
PRC embassy or consulate.
Where a foreigner enters into China legally, he/she may go
directly to the social insurance agency to prove his/her life
status, and a Certificate of Life mentioned in the above paragraph
is not required.
8. Where a foreigner who participates in social insurance
has a dispute with his/her employer or the Domestic PRC Office
regarding social insurance, he/she may apply for mediation or
arbitration or bring a lawsuit in accordance with PRC law.
Where the employer or the Domestic PRC Office infringes upon the
foreigner's right to social insurance, the foreigner may also
request social insurance administrative departments or social
insurance collection agencies to resolve the dispute in accordance
with PRC law.
9. If a foreigner working in China is a citizen of a
country that has entered into a bilateral or multilateral treaty
regarding social insurance with China, his/her social insurance
will be dealt with in accordance with that treaty.
10. Social insurance agencies will issue social security
numbers for foreigners and distribute PRC social security cards to
them in accordance with the Rules of Establishing Social Security
Numbers for Foreigners.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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