About 100 million rural residents are expected to join China's government-subsidized rural pension scheme by the end of 2010, Yin Weimin, minister of human resources and social security, said Thursday.
A total of 35 million farmers over the age of 60 are provided with a basic monthly payment of 55 yuan (about 8.3 U.S. dollars) in addition to the pension payments from their personal contributions, said Yin.
China launched a pilot pension program for its 800 million-strong rural population in August last year as part of efforts to narrow the standard-of-living gap between rural and urban residents.
The Chinese government already operates a basic pension plan for urban workers. Last week it raised the retired enterprise-employees pension 10 percent from 2010 levels, or about 140 yuan per person per month.