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China expands social security system

10-15-2012 13:35 BJT Special Report:China: A Decade of Change |

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China has the world's largest population, consisting of nearly 20% of the world's people. As economic development has sped up in recent years, the government has been working to establish an integrated social security system.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security says China has already established the world’s biggest pension insurance system, 8 years ahead of schedule. More than 700 million people are covered under the scheme, with social security payments rising as well.

The social security ministry says China has already
established the world’s biggest pension insurance
system, 8 years ahead of schedule.

Chen Lingmin lives in the Tian Shui Yuan community in Beijing. She and her husband both retired from state-owned companies about 10 years ago. Now the couple’s total pension is up to nearly 6,000 yuan.

Chen said, “I got my first pension in 1997. It was only about 500 yuan a month. Now I get 2,500 yuan every month. It’s more than enough for me and my husband to live on. Our living standards have continued to rise and I’m quite contented.”

China has raised the basic level of enterprise pension insurance eight times since 2005. The 2012 audit report of the national social security fund says average monthly pensions have gone up from about 700 yuan in 2005 to about 1,500 yuan in 2011 - that’s more than 10 percent above inflation. The number of people covered by enterprise pension insurance in 2011 is almost twice of the number in 2005.

China has launched more than twenty social security policies since 2005. Coverage of the basic pension insurance scheme has been largely expanded, covering more than 700 million residents so far.

Basic medical insurance reached the whole country by the end of 2011. Other social insurances for unemployment, work injury and maternity have also been improved.

Chu Fuling, director of China Social Security Research Center, said, "China’s social security system has made huge progress.The mechanism covers all residents in both urban and rural areas. Take the pension insurance for example. There are three types of this insurance, respectively provided to employed and unemployed urban residents and rural residents. The population coverage and the level of social insurance have also been increasing."

But as China faces an ageing population, there are some concerns.

Some worry that China’s pension fund might have a deficit. Some are calling for the retirement age to be extended.

Chu said, "China’s pension fund doesn’t have any deficit. The 2012 audit report says China’s social security fund enjoys a surplus of about 3,300 billion yuan. As for the retirement age, the average life span in China has increased a lot since the establishment of our country. Policy makers will consider extending retirement age in the future."

In addition to the social insurance system, China has also made efforts to build better social assistance schemes and social welfare systems.

Reporter: “China’s social security system has made great achievement in the past decade. But experts point out that there is still a gap between China and the developed counties in this field. China needs more efforts to focus on improving the social security mechanism and the level of management.”

 

Editor:Zhang Rui |Source: CCTV.com

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