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Ministry plans to beef up investment

By CHENG YINGQI  (China Daily)

11:25, July 17, 2013

Steps taken to stave off pressures from China's aging population

BEIJING, Jul.17 (Xinhuanet) -- China's social security authority is planning to expand investment channels for its social security fund to handle the pressures that come with the country's aging population, Human Resources and Social Security Minister Yin Weimin said on Tuesday.

"The aging population is a global problem in this century, especially in China. It tests a country's capacity to maintain a financial balance in the long term," Yin said in a speech at a seminar in Beijing.

"Concerns over the social security funding gap also come out of worries about the aging problem."

There were 194 million adults aged 60 and above in China last year, accounting for 14.3 percent of the country's entire population. That figure is set to increase considerably by 2030, putting pressure on the country's social security fund, which had a total surplus of 3.75 trillion yuan ($608.7 billion) last year.

"There is a Chinese saying that goes 'A man without forethought has immediate worries'," Yin said, stating that the ministry should accomplish several tasks to cope with the risks of the aging population, including increasing the value of the social security fund.

To this end, the ministry only allows deposits in State-owned banks, as well as the purchase of treasury bonds, Yin explained.

"This assures the security of the fund. But it also narrows value-added channels and limits the potential to add value," he said.

"We need to expand the investment channels of the social security fund, while we stick to the principles of security, standard and unified operation and diversified financing."

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