EMPLOYERS are obligated to contribute at least 5 percent of each employee’s salary to a housing fund account, said a new rule effective as from Dec. 20.
The housing fund account, previously operated by Shenzhen Social Insurance and Fund Management Bureau, was transferred to the Shenzhen Housing Provident Fund Management Center, which started trial operation yesterday. Employees are also required to contribute at least 5 percent of their salary to the fund.
An enterprise or institution that fails to pay into the housing provident fund or underpay could be fined between 10,000 yuan (US$1,493) and 50,000 yuan.
The fund is a long-term savings program for the purchase, building, rental or reconstruction of residential homes.
Shenzhen residents can save up to 30 percent interest by obtaining mortgages from the housing provident fund at Shenzhen branches of the Construction Bank of China, China Merchants Bank and Bank of China.
According to a national regulation, deposits paid by employees and their employers are owned by the staff. It is to be used by employees to buy, build, renovate or repair homes and cannot be used for other purposes by any unit or individual.
Shenzhen first implemented a regulation on a housing provident fund in 1992, but the rule covered only employees in a few enterprises. Government agencies and public institutions were not covered by the rule.
Residents can visit www.szzfgjj.com, the management center’s official Web site or call the hotline, 8636-6999, for details.