More efforts should be made to upgrade China's labor and social security work in the 11th Five-Year Program, said Vice-Premier Huang Ju on Jan. 13.
Huang, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said more importance should be attached to the social and security work guided by the scientific concept of development and the people-oriented concept.
To improve labor and social-security work is an important task for governments at various levels, he said.
"Employment and reemployment, social security and the protection of labor interests are the issues common people are concerned about," he said. "Properly solving these issues can lay a solid foundation for a harmonious society."
He urged both the central and local governments to combine economic development with expansion of employment; to assist laid-off workers in reemployment; and to strengthen vocational education.
He said more efforts were needed to perfect the old-age pension system and expand pilot projects for social security accounts in the national effort to realize a sustainable development of the old-age pension system.
China plans to expand its pension system, presently covering 174 million people, to more than 220 million people in 2010, with an annual increase of 10 million, according to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security (MLSS).
"The target is to extend the system coverage to workers of various sorts of urban businesses, self-employed people and people with no fixed jobs who are excluded from the current old-age pension system," the MLSS minister Tian Chengping said here Friday.
The number of people aged above 60 years old in China has reached 11 percent of the 1.3 billion Chinese population, posing great pressure on the social security system.
According to MLSS, Chinese workers live another 25 years after their retirement on the average. Under the existing system, however, they can draw money from their accounts for only 10 years before the accounts are exhausted.