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Is China's recent pension proposal viable?

(ecns.cn)

16:27, January 09, 2012

(Ecns.cn) – Maintenance and appreciation of the value of pension funds has been a sticky problem for China in recent years, especially as a rapidly aging population is forcing the government to address pension-fund deficits in some regions of the country.

On December 20, 2011, the National Council for Social Security Fund injected 10 billion yuan ($1.58 billion) into the country's stock market, reported the Shanghai Securities News.

Meanwhile, after some Chinese officials pushed for a system that would allow governments at different levels to invest pension funds in the domestic stock market, at the International Social Security Forum held by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) on the same day, it was revealed that different views on the issue were converging and might reach an agreement soon, according to Chen Liang, an official in charge of social security fund supervision with the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MHRSS).

At such a positive signal, Chinese shares surged more than two percent that day, after trading near 33-month lows in earlier sessions.

However, the possibility that pension funds might be invested aroused a chorus of worried voices. Brewing for many years, this is obviously a strategy that would public raise concern, especially from those in their sunset years.

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