Enterprise annuities and tax policy in China: engaged, but not yet married

Since the early 1990s, China has regarded enterprise annuities (employer-sponsored pension plans) as an important pillar of the pension system and tax policy as a key instrument for establishing enterprise annuities. Borrowing the metaphor from Prof. Michael Graetz, enterprise annuities and tax policy were engaged to be married for the past 15 years. The marriage, however, has not taken place. This article explores why that is the case. The article first discusses the role of enterprise annuities in China's pension system and considers the regulatory framework. The article then describes the current tax treatment of enterprise annuities in China and analyses the reasons why tax incentive legislation has not been enacted.