Decree No. 16 of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of the People’s Republic of China
Interim Measures for Social Insurance System Coverage of Foreigners Working within the Territory of China, which was deliberated and adopted at the 67th executive meeting of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and approved by the State Council, is hereby promulgated and shall come into effect as of October 15, 2011.
Yin Weimin, Minister of Human Resources and Social Security
September 6, 2011
Interim Measures for Social Insurance System Coverage of Foreigners Working within the Territory of China
Article 1 These Measures are formulated pursuant to Social Insurance Law of the People´s Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as “Social Insurance Law”), with a view to securing the legitimate rights and interests of foreigners working within the territory of China to social insurance participation and benefits in accordance with the law, as well as strengthening social insurance administration.
Article 2 For the purpose of these Measures, a foreigner working within the territory of China shall refer to a non-Chinese national who is in possession of an employment permit, such as Employment Permit for Foreigners, Foreign Expert Certificate, or Resident Foreign Correspondent’s Press Card, and the Permanent Residence Permit of Foreigners, and is lawfully working within the territory of the People’s Republic of China.
Article 3 Foreigners lawfully recruited and employed by enterprises, public institutions, social organizations, privately-run non-enterprise entities, foundations, law firms, accounting firms and other organizations duly registered within the territory of China (hereinafter referred to as the “employers”) shall participate in the basic old-age insurance for employees, basic medical insurance for employees, work injury insurance, unemployment insurance and maternity insurance in accordance with the law, with the employers and the persons in question paying social insurance contributions as prescribed.
Foreigners who, after having signed labour contracts with overseas employers, are dispatched to work in their branches or representative offices duly registered within the territory of China (hereinafter referred to as the “host service entities”) shall participate in the basic old-age insurance for employees, basic medical insurance for employees, work injury insurance, unemployment insurance and maternity insurance in accordance with the law, with the host service entities and the persons in question paying social insurance contributions as prescribed.
Article 4 The employer who hires foreigners shall process social insurance registration for the foreigners recruited and employed within 30 days from the date of its processing their employment permits.
For foreigners dispatched by their overseas employers to work at host service entities, the host service entities shall process social insurance registration on their behalf in accordance with the preceding paragraph.
The agencies processing employment permits for foreigners in accordance with the law shall pass the information related to new employment of foreigners in China on to the local social insurance agencies in a timely manner. The social insurance agencies shall enquire relevant agencies of information regarding employment permits processed for foreigners on a regular basis.
Article 5 Foreigners covered in the social insurance system shall be entitled to social insurance benefits in accordance with the law once the qualifying conditions are met.
For a foreigner who leaves China before reaching the statutory pension age, the social insurance individual account shall be retained, and shall be renewed on a cumulative basis when the person in question returns to work in China. Alternatively, upon written application for closing the social insurance account from the person in question, the proceeds in the individual account can be paid lump-sum to the said person.
Article 6 The balance in the social insurance individual account of a deceased foreigner may be inherited pursuant to the law.
Article 7 A foreigner who receives monthly social insurance benefits and resides outside the territory of China shall, at least on a yearly basis, submit to the social insurance agency that pays the benefits a document of living proof issued by the Chinese embassy or consulate, or a document of living proof notarized or certified by an agency of the residence country and recognized by the Chinese embassy or consulate.
A foreigner who is lawfully residing in China may present him or her in person to the social insurance agency as the living proof and is thus no longer required to provide the document stipulated in the preceding paragraph.
Article 8 If a dispute occurs over social insurance between a foreigner legally covered in the social insurance system and his or her employer or host service entity, the person in question may apply for mediation, arbitration, or file a lawsuit in accordance with the law. A foreigner whose social insurance rights and interests are infringed upon by his or her employer or host service entity may demand redress from an administrative agency of social insurance or the agency responsible for collection of social insurance contributions in accordance with the law.
Article 9 A foreign national working within the territory of China from a state which has signed a bilateral or multilateral social insurance agreement with China shall be governed by the said agreement with regard to his or her social insurance affairs.
Article 10 Social insurance operating agencies shall, in accordance with Rules on Compiling Social Security Numbers for Foreigners, assign social security numbers and issue social security cards of the People´s Republic of China to foreigners covered in the system.
Article 11 Social insurance administrative agencies shall exercise supervision and inspection over participation of foreigners in social insurance system according to the provisions in Social Insurance Law. Where an employer or host service entity fails to process social insurance registration or pay social insurance contributions in accordance with the law for a foreigner whom it recruits and employs, the case shall be addressed in accordance with the provisions of Social Insurance Law, Regulations on Labor and Social Security Inspection, and other administrative regulations and rules.
An employer recruiting and employing a foreigner without a legally obtained employment permit or the Permanent Residence Permit of Foreigners shall be subjected to Rules for the Administration of Employment of Foreigners in China.
Article 12 These Measures shall come into effect on October 15, 2011.
Attachment: Rules on Compiling Social Security Numbers for Foreigners
Rules on Compiling Social Security Numbers for Foreigners
The social insurance number (SSN) assigned to a foreigner covered in social insurance system in China shall be a combination of the person’s home country or area code and his or her valid identity document number. The valid identity document means either a passport or a Permanent Residence Permit of Foreigners. Between the home country or area code and the identity document number, one digit shall be reserved. The composition of the SSN is thus as follows:
XXX X XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
（country/area code） （reserved digit） （valid identity document number）
1．A foreigner’s home country or area code shall follow the standard from Part 1: country codes of ISO 3166-1:2006 Codes for the representation of names of countries and their subdivisions, and consist of a 3-letter code. For instance, Germany is coded as DEU, Denmark is coded as DNK. Once the international standard is upgraded, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security will determine a date for nationwide concurrent code upgrading.
For a foreigner who has satisfied qualifications for permanent residence in China, the three-letter code of his or her home country or area shall be identical to the first three letters in the number of his or her Permanent Residence Permit, which serve to represent his or her country or area in the Permit.
2．One digit is reserved in the SSN. Number 0 is applied by default, and it can be a number between 1 and 9 under special circumstances.
3．When a valid passport number is included in a SSN, all the English alphabets and Arabic numerals in the passport number shall be retained, whereas special symbols like “.” or “-” are excluded. When the number of a Permanent Residence Permit of Foreigners is included in a SSN, the 4th to the 15th digits in the Permit shall be retained.
(1) Example 1: A man of German nationality works for an employer in China and his passport number is G01234—56, then his SSN shall be DEU0G0123456.
Country or area code reserved digit valid passport number
DEU 0 G0123456
(2) Example 2: A women of Danish nationality works for an employer in China and her Permanent Residence Permit of Foreigners is DNK324578912056, then her SSN shall be DNK324578912056.
Country or area code reserved digit No. of Permanent Residence Permit of Foreigners
DNK 0 324578912056
4．The database will allow for a maximum of 18 digits for a foreigner’s SSN, among which a maximum of 14 digits are allocated to the valid passport number. If a SSN is less than 18 digits, the original number shall stand.
5．The SSN assigned to a foreigner is unique and remains unchanged for life in China. When a foreigner changes his or her identity document number, the SSN assigned upon his or her first registration with social insurance agency shall remain valid and serve as the only identification. Social insurance agencies shall keep records of the changes of the identity documents and their numbers of the foreigners covered in social insurance system.