Enterprises may defer housing provident fund payments

Wang Yanlin
Shanghai will allow all enterprises to defer payments of housing provident funds for up to five months.
Wang Yanlin

Shanghai will allow all enterprises to defer payments of housing provident funds for up to five months, another effort to ease pressure over cash flow during the coronavirus outbreak.

Pu Jianhua, director of the city’s social security fund management center, said on Sunday that enterprises can have a grace period for paying housing provident funds from February to June without hurting the interests of their employees.

With the housing provident fund, half of which is paid by the employer, people can enjoy a much lower loan rate when buying a home.

People can still apply to use the housing provident fund as usual even if their employers have not paid the corporate part for them on time.

Also, those under the loan contract won’t be considered in default even if they fail to pay.

“All enterprises are eligible for the measure,” Pu said. “Those who have paid the funds for February can apply for the deferral for the period of March to June.”

On Thursday, the State Council issued new rules on the collection of social security funds to help businesses withstand challenges brought by the epidemic. 

The country has decided to exempt small and medium-sized enterprises nationwide and enterprises in Hubei Province from paying the social security funds of pension fees, unemployment insurance and workplace safety insurance from February to June. The exemption was expected to reach at least 500 billion yuan (US$71.3 billion).

For companies undergoing severe difficulties due to the epidemic, they also can apply to defer payments to the housing provident fund, according to the national rules.

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