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China's young and old rail against raising retirement age

Move to shore up shrinking labor force raises alarm over jobs and child care

Urban Chinese families often rely on grandparents to bring children to and from school.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- As China's government discusses raising the retirement age to offset the economic impact of its aging population, it faces pushback from a broad cross-section of the population, reflecting its unique family dynamic that often places child-care responsibility on retired grandparents. 

The retirement age for employees in the public sector and at state-owned enterprises is set at 60 for men, 55 for female office workers and 50 for female blue-collar workers. This has remained unchanged since around the time of the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, even as life expectancy has risen to more than 80 in urban areas.

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