Former Finance Minister to Head Social Security Fund

Author: Li Qing and Dong Tongjian

Posted: November 12, 2016

China’s former finance minister Lou Jiwei has been appointed as chief of the fund that forms the backbone of China’s national state retirement plan, sources close to the fund told Caixin.

On Thursday, Lou Jiwei reported to the National Council for Social Security Fund (NCSSF), becoming the fifth person to lead the fund, said the sources. Lou left his previous post as finance minister last week, when Xiao Jie, a former deputy chief of staff of China’s cabinet was promoted to the position by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.

Lou will soon turn 66, the age when China requires every ministerial-level official to step down or retire. Among the four former heads of China’s national security fund, three also served as finance minister at one point.

Such movement is part of Beijing’s broader practice of rotating high-level officials between various government ministries and major state-owned enterprises within their field.

Lou was named finance minister in March 2013. Since then the social security fund has grown to about 1.9 trillion yuan ($280 billion) in assets by the end of 2015, an increase of 58.3% compared with the end of 2013.

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