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Do Foreigners Need Social Insurance?

Do Foreigners Need Social Insurance?


  1. Is social insurance compulsory for foreigners?

It’s mandatory.

According to regulations taken effect on in 2011, foreigners employed legally in China should be insured with basic endowment insurance, basic medical insurance, employment injury insurance, unemployment insurance and maternity insurance.

A work unit that recruits foreigners shall, within 30 days from the date of handling employment certificates, register social insurance for them. Foreigners sent by overseas employers to work in domestic work units shall have their social insurance registration handled by domestic work units in accordance with the provisions.

  1. What if I’m covered by foreign employers?

If the employer has bought endowment insurance and other insurance of foreign insurance company for foreign employees (non-German and Korean) every year, do they still need social insurance?

Different from the mandatory endowment insurance provided by the government, the endowment insurance provided by insurance companies is considered commercial insurance.

Commercial endowment insurance is based on the contract of life insurance,  a supplement and personalized improvement of foreigners’ own needs.


  1. Is housing provident fund required?

As stipulated in the Regulations on the Administration of Housing Provident Fund, those who have to pay housing accumulation fund don’t include people from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. Those who obtain permanent residency in China have to contribute to housing provident fund.

Expatriates who establish labor (employment) relationship with employers and have China’s permanent residency and who have certain documents such as “XXX City Residence Permit of Overseas Talent” (or the original “XXX City Residence Permit” B certificate), ” Foreigner Employment Permit”, “Taiwan-Hongkong-Macao Employment Permit” etc., and those who are from Taiwan, Hong Kong or Macao come to work in Shanghai, contribute to the housing accumulation fund on the basis of consensus with the employer.

Housing provident fund withdrawal or other tax-related matters of payment base, payment proportion, account sealing, account transfer, house purchase, house renting or property fees and other housing consumption should all be in accordance with relevant provisions.

  1. What are the insurance types?

Same as domestic employees.

According to China’s bilateral agreement with Germany and South Korea, if German and South Korean citizens employed in China provide documents that prove they are insured, they are allowed not to be insured with unemployment insurance (Germany) and primary endowment insurance (Germany & South Korea). However, they should have basic medical insurance, maternity insurance and employment injury insurance.

  1. What are some social insurance benefits?

Insured foreigners have the same right as domestic citizens in enjoying social insurance benefits. Insured foreigners will receive a social security number and social security card.

How to implement social insurance in some special cases:

(1) As for those who leave China before the prescribed age to draw the pension, their  individual account of social insurance will be kept. When they return to China for reemployment, the years they work in China will be cumulatively calculated. If the applicant applies for the termination of social insurance in writing, he may also be paid in a lump sum of the account.

(2) As for those who are dead, the balance of their personal social insurance account can be inherited according to law.

(3) Foreigners enjoying monthly social insurance benefits outside China shall, at least once a year, provide social insurance agencies with a living proof issued by the Chinese Embassy or Consulate, or a living proof authenticated by the relevant institutions in the country of residence and notarized by Chinese Embassy.

Foreigners who have entered China legally can choose to prove their living conditions at social insurance agencies, and no longer need to provide living proof.

(4) The age when foreigners working in China obtain pension insurance, complies with the current China’s policy of retirement age.



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