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Payment into pension fund rises 19% in H1
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14:45, August 14, 2009

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Payment into China's national government social security fund rose 19.1 percent year on year to 696.6 billion yuan ($102.4 billion) in the first half this year, a senior offical said Thursday.

Expenditure from the Social Security Fund (SSF) in the same period was 564.8 billion yuan, up 19.3 percent from a year ago, said Nie Mingjun, an official in charge of social security affairs under the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security at a conference held in Guiyang.

Payment into the fund was 131.8 billion yuan more than expenditure in the first half.

Nie said, however, growth in payment for basic pension was at a three-year low in the first half, while that of basic medical insurance, work injury insurance and childbirth insurance all at a four-year low, as both firms and individuals felt the pinch of the economic slowdown.

Nie attributed the "stable" performance of the fund to economic recovery and government efforts to alleviate corporate burdens.

The Chinese economy rebounded to a growth of 7.1 percent in the first half, after tumbling to 6.1 percent in the first three months, as government stimulus spending helped shore up the economy.

The Chinese government reduced corporate burdens by 12.5 billion yuan, excluding unemployment insurance, in tax burdens and others by the end of June, under a new policy announced at the end of last year in an effort to assist firms and help stablize employment, according to Nie.

He said the number of participants in the fund, who paid for the coverage of basic pension, basic medical insurance, work injury insurance and childbirth insurance, bottomed out at the end of the first quarter and started to rise in the second quarter as the economy turned around.

At the end of June, 224.13 million people have pensions, an increase of 5.13 million from the end of last year, and about 336.79 million have basic medical insurance, up 18.57 million from the end of last year.

An additional 140.74 million have work injury insurance and 97.94 million have childbirth insurance.

Total assets of the SSF stood at 562.4 billion yuan at the end of 2008, an increase of 122.8 billion yuan from 2007, after the SSF reported its first annual loss since its founding eight years ago, mainly to reflect last year's A-share plunge.


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