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Retirement Benefits Stopped for Two Retired College Professors While They Serve Time for Their Faith

March 8, 2022 |   By a Minghui correspondent in Shandong Province, China

(Minghui.org) Two retired college professors in Feicheng City, Shandong Province were recently removed from the retirees’ roster by the school they worked at, due to their faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. They are now deprived of pension, health insurance, and other retirement benefits while still serving time.

Ms. Lu Keqin, 72, was arrested on June 4, 2018 for giving her relatives Falun Gong informational materials. Ms. Ma Junting, 83, was arrested at home three days later on June 7.

Both women were convicted by the Feicheng City Court on June 13, 2019. Ms. Lu was sentenced to a 3.5-year prison term with a 30,000 yuan fine, and Ms. Ma was given two years and a 30,000 yuan fine. As Ms. Ma was still on probation for an earlier three-year term, the judge in charge of her case suspended the probation and ordered her to serve a combined five-year term.

On December 24, 2021, the leadership of Shandong University of Science and Technology held a meeting and decided to remove Ms. Ma and Ms. Lu from their retirees’ roster.

The university ordered the suspension of all of Ms. Ma’s retirement benefits beginning in January 2022, and demanded that she return the pension she had received between June 2019 and August 2021, as well as the pension funds and health insurance benefits received between September and December 2021.

For Ms. Lu, in addition to losing her retirement benefits since January 2022, she was also ordered to pay back the pension and health insurance benefits she received between June 2019 and December 2021.

After they are released from the prison, the school will only issue them the school subsidy or payment matching the local minimum living standard, whichever is higher.

The school claimed that their decision was based on two documents issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, “Interim Regulations on Discipline for Employees of Public Institutions” and “Opinions of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security on Several Issues Concerning the Implementation of the Interim Regulations on Discipline for Public Institution Staff Members,” as well as the notice issued by the Shandong Provincial government in 2020 that ruled to “cancel the pension benefits for retirees who were held responsible for disciplinary violations.” However, there is no such stipulation in the formal social security law or the labor law.

Both practitioners’ families argued that their pensions are their own lawful assets, not something given by the government, and thus should be protected by the law, and no individual or agency has the jurisdiction to suspend it.

Related reports:

81-year-old Retired Teacher Sentenced to Prison for Her Faith

Minghui Report: 329 Falun Gong Practitioners Sentenced to Prison for Their Faith in First Half of 2019