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China expands its social security system
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22:10, July 31, 2008

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China paid out 372.4 billion yuan (54.52 billion U.S. dollars) in old age pensions in the first half, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS) announced on Thursday.

The figure was up 33.9 percent from the 278.2 billion yuan for the same period last year, said ministry spokesman Yin Chengji.

More Chinese were benefiting from the country's social security service and the government's expansion of its social security coverage, said Yin.

By June, 210.29 million people were covered by basic urban pension insurance, up from 201.37 million at the same time last year.

Basic urban health insurance coverage stood at 249.07 million and unemployment coverage at 120.1 million in the first half, up from 223.11 million and 116.45 million respectively.

Meanwhile, the number of people covered by work injury insurance was 130.25 million, up by 8.52 million, and maternity insurance 84.52 million, a rise of 6.77 million.

The ministry reported an increase in social security funds in the first half, with the basic pension insurance fund at 440.3 billion yuan, up 30.5 percent, and the basic medical insurance fund up 34.2 percent to 129.6 billion yuan.

The unemployment insurance fund rose 26 percent to 25.8 billion yuan and the work security insurance fund rose 35.3 percent to 9.7 billion yuan.

Maternity insurance soared to 5.1 billion yuan, up 44.4 percent.

"The ministry will continue strengthening fund collection and supervision," said Yin.


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