A top social security official confirmed on Thursday there is no shortfall in China's pensions for enterprise retirees, two days after Premier Wen Jiabao vowed to raise such funding by 10 percent this year.
"I can assure you responsibly that there is no gap in the pension fund for enterprise retirees. … The accumulated balance exceeded 2.3 trillion yuan ($370.1 billion) last year," said Yin Weimin, minister of human resources and social security.
Yin said the national pension fund had 1.9 trillion yuan in its accounts by the end of last year, when spending amounted to 1.5 trillion yuan, creating a balance of 400 billion yuan.
"Even if excluding fiscal subsidies and interest earnings, pension turnover totaled 1.6 trillion last year, so there is no pension-fund shortfall, " he told the media after a panel discussion at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
Yin, who is a national legislator, said people are concerned about pension-fund shortfalls because with the aging population rising they fret over the long-term safety and stability of their pensions.
He said his ministry is studying the issue, and he hopes that regulations covering old-age pension investment will be made and enacted as soon as possible.
On Tuesday, Wen said basic old-age pensions for enterprise retirees should be raised by 10 percent.
These pensions have risen from an average of 700 yuan a month in 2004 to 1,721 yuan now, according to Wen's Government Work Report.
In China, the pension fund, together with medical insurance, work injury insurance, unemployment insurance and maternity insurance, form the national social security system.
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