ADB grants $500,000 for China's rural pension system

11:07, October 20, 2009      

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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing a technical assistance grant of $500,000 to help China establish an effective rural pension scheme that can help the country meet its goal of universal coverage by 2020.

In a press release, the Manila-based ADB said the grant will be used to improve the policy and regulatory framework for a government-run pilot pension scheme to be carried out this year in 200 rural counties across the country.

The government is targeting full participation in urban and rural pension systems by 2020.

The need for comprehensive pension coverage has been heightened by the rising age of the rural population, the sharp slump in the number of farmers, and the return of millions of migrant workers to their rural hometowns due to the financial crisis, the ADB said, and a universal social security system is crucial for bridging the urban-rural divide.

The pilot scheme will apply a new formula that combines a basic government-funded 'subsistence' pension with individual account contributions, which has shown signs of promise as the government sets to overhaul the lagging rural pension system.

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