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Villagers lose out on pensions

By An Baijie (Chinadaily.com.cn)

08:53, July 03, 2012

A local government in Central China's Henan province on July 2 promised to investigate a case in which more than 60,000 villagers were reportedly turned down when they tried to get their endowment insurance.

The villagers bought endowment insurance at the price of 50 to 2,000 yuan ($8 to $315) in 1996 from the government of Dengzhou city, and the local government promised them to get a pension when they reached the retire age of 60, Wang Bing, chief of the publicity department of Dengzhou government, told China Daily.

The rules and regulations stipulate that people with rural hukou (household registration) could not enjoy a pension when they reached the age of 60 as the people with an urban hukou do. The practice in Dengzhou was a pilot project by the local government, which was aimed at benefiting the local rural residents, Wang said.

The local government deposited the money into a bank account, but found that the interest could not cover the pension, according to Wang.

There is 10.25 million yuan in the bank account, which will be given back to the insurance buyers, Wang said.

Ding Ning, a villager in Xicheng district of Zhengzhou, said that she spent 50 yuan and 55 yuan for two insurance policies from the local government in 1996, according to a report of Dahe Daily.

The local government forced them to buy the insurance, or their children would not be enrolled in school, Ding told the newspaper.

Wang, the publicity official, said that what Ding alleged is a historical issue, and the local government's urgent task is to keep its promise to give back the insurance as well as interest to the villagers older than 60.

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