Chinese premier urges more gov’t spending on pension system

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Friday urged for more government spending on the social pension insurance system to address the country’s aging problem.

The government must guarantee financial support in the system even if it has to cut investment on other projects, Wen said at a national conference about the urban-rural pension insurance system.

China has the world’s largest pension insurance system, covering more than 700 million people. As many as 124 million old people claim a basic pension, granted by the state every month.

However, as China is the world’s most populous country and a developing nation, it remains a challenge to make sure that every citizen has access to old-age care, Wen said.

He said the country had been working to expand the pension system’s coverage over the past few years and would focus more on raising the level of money that people receive after retirement.

Wen underlined the significance of improving the social security system and said it was of great importance to maintain social stability in the country.

He also urged for intensified monitoring and better management of social security money to avoid any fund abuse or embezzlement while increasing its value.

According to the latest government count, the number of people aged 60 or above reached 184.99 million at the end of 2011, accounting for 13.7 percent of the total population.

Xinhua