1.Purpose of the Notice
Efforts to contain the COVID-19 epidemic are currently at a critical stage. ThisNotice is formulated to implement the guiding principles of President Xi Jinping’s directives regarding robust containment of the COVID-19 epidemic, implement work plans by the CPC Guangzhou Committee and Guangzhou Municipal Government regarding COVID-19 response, contribute to the fight against COVID-19, safeguard the rights and interests of employers and individuals making contributions to the Housing Provident Fund, and provide clear guidelines for housing provident fund transactions during the COVID-19 response period.
2.1. What happens if an employer cannot timely make housing provident fund payments due to the epidemic?
A: The employer may make back payments of overdue contributions within 3 months of the lifting of COVID-19 response measures. Employers shall be deemed to have continuously made all required contributions after all back payments are made.
2.2. What happens if an employer faces difficulties in making housing provident fund contributions due to the epidemic?
A: The employer may apply for a reduced contribution rate or payment deferral based on relevant regulations within 3 months of the lifting of COVID-19 response measures.
2.3. For which period can an employer apply for a reduction of the contribution rate or a suspension of the contribution?
A: An employer can apply for a reduction of contribution rates or payment deferral for the period from January 2020 to the end of June 2021, except for months for which contributions have already been made. Employers still facing operational difficulties after the end of June 2021 may apply for a reduction in contribution rates or payment deferral for the new housing provident fund contributions year pursuant to relevant regulations.
2.4. Where can an employer apply for a reductionof contribution rates or payment deferral?
A: An employer can make an application at theGuangzhou Railway Sub-Center, various service branches, or the management department of the Guangzhou Housing Provident Fund Management Center. Information on service venues is available on the official website of the housing provident fund center.
2.5. To what level can the contribution rate be lowered?
A: The contribution rate can be lowered to 1% at the lowest, provided that an employer negotiates with its employees beforehand as per due procedures, in light of the state of its business operations.
2.6. What documents are required for an application to reduce contribution rates or defer payments?
(1) An application form for a reduction of contribution rates or payment deferral (1 original, downloadable from the official website of the housing provident fund center);
(2) Resolution of the employer on making such application and signatures of those who voted on the resolution (1 original, downloadable from the official website of the housing provident fund center);
(3) Documents relating to the public disclosure of the resolution;
(4) Social security contributions summary and breakdown by social insurance type for the last contribution (1 photocopy, affixed with the official seal of the employer);
(5) Identity card of the staff member in charge (original; staff member in charge should have been registered in the provident fund system).
2.7. When can an employer know the outcome of its application fora reduction of contribution rates or payment deferral?
A: The housing provident fund center will open a green channel to expedite the processing of applications for a reduction in contribution rates or payment deferral by enterprises affected by the COVID-19 epidemic. If all required documents are in order, an application will be processed within 4 working days.
2.8. Through what channels can an employer retrieve the outcome of its application fora reduction of contribution rates or payment deferral?
A: An employer may opt to receive the outcome of its application via email (recommended), in-person at the service branch where the application was submitted, or by courier.
2.9. What if an individual is unable to withdraw funds from his/her account in time due to the COVID-19 epidemic?
A: The individual may withdraw funds within 3 months of the lifting of COVID-19 response measures.
2.10. What if an employee needs a housing provident fund loan but his/her employer has not yet made overdue contributions or has received a payment deferral due to the COVID-19 epidemic?
A: The employee can open a voluntary contribution account to which he/she continues to make contributions at a rate no lower than the minimum applicable to voluntary individual contributors (minimum contribution base at CNY 2,100 and minimum contribution rate of 10%).
2.11. For employers who have been granted payment deferrals, will employers be deemed to have made continuous housing provident fund contributions upon making subsequent payments for the deferred months when employees apply for housing provident fund loans?
2.12. If a member of certain population groups fails to repay a housing provident fund loan due to the COVID-19 epidemic, how may he/sheapply for a review of his/her personal credit rating?
A: Such persons are required to provide the following documents to apply for a reconsideration of their personal credit rating:
(2)An application form;
(3)Other relevant supporting documents:
① a hospitalization certificate or a diagnosis certificate issued by a hospital (for persons hospitalized due to COVID-19 infection); ② a certificate issued by his/her employer, residents’ committee or sub-district office (for persons quarantined due to COVID-19 infection or contact with COVID-19 cases); ③ a certificate issued by his/her employer (for persons quarantined due to the requirements of COVID-19 response measures or persons participating in COVID-19 containment work); ④ documents showing loss of sources of income (for persons who have lost their sources of income due to the COVID-19 epidemic).
2.13. Where can a complaint regarding personal credit ratings be lodged?
A: Complaints may be lodged by sending electronic copies of the documents listed in the previous item to the housing provident fund center to email@example.com(recommended), by mailing hardcopy documents to the housing provident fund center, or in person at the housing provident fund loan management department (Address: Loan Management Department, Floor 21, Sanyin Tower, 12 Huajiu Road, Tianhe District, Guangzhou) with all required documents.
Mailing Address: Loan Management Department, Floor 21, Sanyin Tower, 12 Huajiu Road, Tianhe District, Guangzhou
Attn: Loan Management Department, Guangzhou Housing Provident Fund Management Center
(Gentle reminder: Please pay postage fees in advance to prevent the loss of your documents.)
2.14. Can a borrower whose loan is fully guaranteed by Guangzhou Housing Loan Guarantee Co., Ltd. apply to the company for a reduction/exemption of fees charged for repaying loans on their behalf or other debts if they encountered difficulties in serving their loan due to the COVID-19 epidemic?
A: Yes. Please call 85503869 for details.
2.15. How can a borrower apply for an extension of repayment for a housing provident fund loan if he/she has temporarily lost his/her sources of income?
A: (1) The borrower may apply to the agency which processed his/her loan for an extension with relevant application documents. An extension will be granted after review and approval.
(2) Application documents to be submitted include:
①Identity documents of the borrower;
② An application form;
③ Documents showing loss of sources of income.
2.16. What is the maximum number of years that a housing provident fund loan can be extended?
A: According to the loan policies of the housing provident fund center, the term of a loan after extension may not be longer than its maximum allowable term, i.e. 30 years in the case of a loan for a first-hand property or 20 years in the case of a loan for a second-hand property. In addition, the sum of the age of a property and the term of the relevant loan may not exceed 40 years, and the sum of the term of a loan and the age of the borrower may not exceed the borrower’s retirement age plus five years.