Following the promulgation of a national decree ordering foreign employees’ mandatory participation in China’s social insurance system, Beijing recently issued its own implementation details in a bid to strengthen the enforcement of the new policy.
On December 20, 2011, the Beijing Social Insurance Fund Management Center (BSIFMC) released the “Circular on Issues Concerning the Improvement of Participation in Social Insurance by Foreigners Employed in Beijing (the new Circular).” The document details issues related to foreigners’ social insurance registration, backdated premium payments, charges of late fees, and the participation of foreigners from those countries that have signed a bilateral or multilateral agreement on social insurance with China.
Foreigners’ social insurance registration and backdated premium payments
According to Circular jingshebaofa  No. 55 released by the BSIFMC earlier, employers in Beijing shall undertake social insurance registration for its foreign employees within 30 days after the foreign employee obtains a work permit.
In accordance with Circular No. 55, an employer shall provide the following documentation (both original and photocopy) for its foreign employees’ social insurance registration:
In cases where the employer encounters actual difficulty in providing all the original copies, registration may still be accepted if photocopies of the complete set of documentation can be provided, the new Circular added.
In addition, a foreigner must register with the same English name used on his/her valid passport.
A foreigner that qualifies for participation in social insurance and has been employed in Beijing before October 31, 2011 shall make a backdated premium payment for the period from October to December of 2011. A foreigner that qualifies for participation in social insurance and has been employed in Beijing after November 1, 2011 shall make a backdated premium payment from the month in which the foreigner is employed to the month immediately before the one in which the foreigner’s social insurance registration is made.
A foreigner that has already gone through social insurance registration procedures before January 1, 2012 shall not be charged late fees when making backdated premium payments, whereas a foreigner that goes through social insurance registration procedures after January 1, 2012 shall be charged late fees in accordance with the “Circular on Issues Concerning Late Fee Charges on Employers’ Overdue Social Insurance Payment (jingshebaofa  No.39).”
Foreigners from countries with bilateral/multilateral treaties with China
Where a foreigner is the national of a country that has signed a bilateral or multilateral agreement on social insurance with China, his/her participation in social insurance shall be in accordance with the following:
The new Circular took effect on December 20, 2011.
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