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Legislator Calls for Performance-based Pension Fund

Creating a performance-based pension system for civil servants could help cut down on corruption in the public sector, a national legislator has suggested.

Peng Zhenqiu, a deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC), the country's top legislature, has called for the establishment of a civil servant pension fund to which both government employees and the government contribute.

"Civil servants who have clean records throughout their whole careers would be entitled to receive a full share," Peng told China Daily.

He said the pension could amount to about 40 percent of a civil servant's monthly salary. The civil servant would contribute 15 percent of the monthly salary to the fund, while the government would contribute 25 percent.

"According to the current salary levels, a civil servant would receive about 400,000 yuan (US$51,000) from the pool if he or she had a good record throughout his or her whole career," Peng said. "The longer a worker is in a post, the more he or she would get upon retirement.

"However, if they had a bad record, the money they contributed to the fun could be confiscated to make up for the losses their crimes caused."

"I don't think such a fund would totally get rid of corruption, but it could make civil servants think twice before breaking the law."

The integrity of civil servants has been under the microscope in recent years following the emergence of several cases of corruption involving senior level officials. Prosecutors' offices across the country investigated 40,041 government employees in 33,668 cases of job-related crime last year, according to top prosecutor Jia Chunwang.

Last September, the 3.4 billion yuan embezzlement scandal involving Shanghai's pension fund led to the downfalls of senior officials, including Shanghai's former Party secretary Chen Liangyu.

"Corruption not only damages the government credit, but also cause huge losses to the country," Peng said.

"Effective supervision and constant education are necessary to keep the civil servants from indulging in corruption, and certain incentives could help people stay disciplined."

(China Daily April 3, 2007)

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